Mike Nifong's Crime

Russ Vaughn
Check out the networks and the web on the Mike Nifong trial and what you're likely to hear is that he committed a grave offense against three upstanding young men, falsely accusing them and imposing huge financial burdens on their families in the process of a politically motivated, malicious prosecution. For that alone, the little disbarment for life, banishment from the practice of law forever, is not an adequate punishment.

But the true crime here is not libel, slander or malicious prosecution. It goes far beyond that. I don't know that there's a name for it, but we all can recognize it for what it is when we pause for a moment to think about it.

This despicable career government employee seized upon a completely selfish, self-serving opportunity to heighten racial tensions in our nation so that he could get elected to a minor office and get a good civil service pension. In a disunited country at war, ridden with racial problems, he pandered to invidious racial stereotypes to drive a wedge between the races in America. In a national psyche desperately trying to heal old racial wounds, he ripped open a scab, enflaming the social tissue, igniting blacks with outrage over rich, privileged, young white boys allegedly gang raping a struggling young black woman. Cynically, he pursued prosecution of these young men in the face of overwhelming exculpatory DNA evidence, which he criminally concealed from their defense attorneys to get himself through an election and obtain a good civil service pension.

There are more than three victims of Mike Nifong.

Check out the networks and the web on the Mike Nifong trial and what you're likely to hear is that he committed a grave offense against three upstanding young men, falsely accusing them and imposing huge financial burdens on their families in the process of a politically motivated, malicious prosecution. For that alone, the little disbarment for life, banishment from the practice of law forever, is not an adequate punishment.

But the true crime here is not libel, slander or malicious prosecution. It goes far beyond that. I don't know that there's a name for it, but we all can recognize it for what it is when we pause for a moment to think about it.

This despicable career government employee seized upon a completely selfish, self-serving opportunity to heighten racial tensions in our nation so that he could get elected to a minor office and get a good civil service pension. In a disunited country at war, ridden with racial problems, he pandered to invidious racial stereotypes to drive a wedge between the races in America. In a national psyche desperately trying to heal old racial wounds, he ripped open a scab, enflaming the social tissue, igniting blacks with outrage over rich, privileged, young white boys allegedly gang raping a struggling young black woman. Cynically, he pursued prosecution of these young men in the face of overwhelming exculpatory DNA evidence, which he criminally concealed from their defense attorneys to get himself through an election and obtain a good civil service pension.

There are more than three victims of Mike Nifong.