Local News

Sentence Over, Nifong Is Out

Posted September 8, 2007

— Mike Nifong served his jail sentence and went home Saturday, less effusive than he was when he was Durham district attorney and discussed the case against three Duke lacrosse players with the national media.

"I want to express my sincere appreciation to Maj. (Natalie) Holiday, to all of the staff at the detention center, for the professionalism with which I was treated and the respect which I was shown. Other than that, I just want to go home and spend some time with my family," he said.

Nifong was released from the Durham County Jail after serving 24 hours for criminal contempt.

When Nifong walked out of the downtown jail, a crowd of nearly two dozen supporters greeted him, along with his parents. He thanked the supporters, who also had accompanied him to the jail Friday morning.

"It really means a lot to me to have the people who came down yesterday when I came down and to have them down here again today. It means a whole lot to me. It really does,” Nifong said before he got into a car to be driven away.

Sources told WRAL that Nifong was in isolation, away from the general jail population, for safety reasons while he served his 24-hour sentence.

Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith III found Nifong guilty of lying about DNA evidence in the Duke lacrosse case. That evidence, Smith said, would have cleared three men – Reade Seligmann, David Evans and Collin Finnerty – falsely accused of assaulting Crystal Mangum at a team party.

Smith said his decision was aimed at "protecting and preserving the integrity of the court and its processes."

Nifong dismissed rape charges against the three men in December. A month later, he recused himself from the case after the North Carolina State Bar opened an ethics complaint against him. The state Attorney General's Office took over the case and later dismissed the rest of the charges against the men in April.

In June, a disciplinary committee of the State Bar found Nifong violated several rules of professional conduct in his handling the case and stripped him of his law license. He resigned as district attorney a couple of weeks later.

Nifong has since apologized for what he called "mistakes" in the case.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • dlb800 Sep 10, 2007

    "poor working class African American female"?

    1. Poor people are poor because of the choices they make in life.
    2. She should be held liable for any statements she made. If
    they were true, fine, but they weren't, so she should be
    held liable. Send her to prison, sue her, whatever, but
    she needs to be told that you can't lie and get away with

  • jon2four Sep 10, 2007

    I am not here to cast stones,what I am saying is, if it is justic that is being pursued,wouldn't it be just for those wronged to demand that 30 million be spent in righting the problems in the NC justic system or that the money be spent on improving schools for kids in the state,or that the money be spent for those who are in simular situations as they found themselves. Some say reputations have been harmed and lives destroyed. The 9/11 families at most got 2-5 million dollars,for loss of loved ones.What all involved do from here on will repair their reputations. No amount of money will do that.Vengence gets more vengence.

  • Aries82 Sep 10, 2007

    I wonder how fast he found Jesus.

  • Nancy Sep 9, 2007

    "... a crowd of nearly two dozen supporters greeted him, along with his parents."

    His circle sure is shrinking.

  • NCbred77 Sep 9, 2007

    Whats really sad is the alleged victim served no time when she was pretty much the cause of everything. Oh what a justice system we have. Hey, and she even got her college tuition paid for out of the deal. God bless the USA where the real victims have not rights and the criminals have all the rights.

  • leelou3 Sep 9, 2007

    You know what? Someone has to take the high road to put this fiasco behind us as a body of people (North Carolinians) so that the country can move on and I think it will have to be the people of Durham to lead by example.

  • oneday8035 Sep 9, 2007

    Poor working class African American female...well you got only few words right there. Try this: lying African American female prostitute. She came from a hard working middle class family and was a student. She was not working class herself in fact she had no class and the only work that the did was on her back. Nifong used her and her lies to get elected and the only civil rights that were violated were those of the three actual victims and we are getting to that. The 30 mil might be a little steep since Duke has already paid but they should get something.

  • moi_oc Sep 9, 2007

    Wow - the neo-Puritan thread will not stop. They hired strippers. They drank! Oh my! The horror! The city already acted, and the end result was Nifong went to jail. They will get their 30 million and more due to the fact that they were criminally wronged by the "justice" system. No go back into your glass house and try another tactic... throwing stones does not work.

  • ryanandcodysmom Sep 9, 2007

    "But the city of Durham owe them nothing"

    I am sorry but I am forced to disagree 100% with this statement. As I said before Michael Nifong was elected by the people of Durham as as such was THEIR Agent. Its sad I know but its the people of Durham that has the ultimate Liability in all this. 10 million may be an excessive amount, but I am sure that this amount is being discussed by the parties involved.

  • jon2four Sep 9, 2007

    so ,all of you who think 30 million is a fair price for righting an unjustice.Lets see how you feel next time the subject of reparations comes up for all the harm done to the black population of this country since its' founding.