The 60 Minutes story on the Duke Lacrosse case last night was very disturbing. Brian Meehan, the man hired by the prosecutor to do forensic work, said he found DNA on the rape kit and the accuser’s underwear that belonged to at least four unidentified men, none from any of the lacrosse players. But when Meehan issued a report of his findings, he left out that exculpatory information about the other men.
Now he’s having to explain his ‘mistake.’ But one gets the sense that he was doing what he thought Prosecutor Mike Nifong wanted him to do. The North Carolina State Bar has filed a complaint alleging ethics violations by prosecutor Nifong, but not because of the failure to reveal the exculpatory evidence (the complaint is about his improper publicity-seeking remarks). Perhaps the North Carolina Bar should amend their complaint to include these more serious violations.
Many people will wonder if Nifong shouldn’t also be subject to a civil suit by the lacrosse players. He is probably immune from suit, but that doesn’t mean (if the ethics charges are true) that he should be immune. Nifong has wreaked incalculable damage upon the accused lacrosse players, and it’s hard to see why he shouldn’t be held fully accountable.