The shortsighted prosecutor concerns himself only with victory in the courtroom and is willing to take whatever advantage he can, no matter the consequence. The wise prosecutor understands that victory at trial is merely the first step in a journey that ends only with the completion of the appellate process. Along that journey, it is the prosecutor who actually bears the ultimate responsibility for seeing that the defendant has a fair trial, and any prosecutor who leaves that burden for the judge and the defense attorney will likely find himself having to repeat the trip at some point in the future.
~ Words of wisdom from Michael B. Nifong
Some look at Michael B. Nifong merely as a North Carolina district attorney. Others view him solely as a man. But he is something much more. Nifong is an avatar, a demigod. How else could Michael Nifong justify his continued persecution — er, prosecution — of those unsavory Dukie lacrossers? How great a time in which we live! What an inestimable glory has been given to us that we have been chosen to walk the earth with his Nifongness.
Rather than manifest himself through, say, turning water into wine (and what truly Divine person would use their talents in such a way as to promote sloth and drunkenness?), Nifong has soberly used his gifts to set us an example of providing swift justice and certain punishment. Nifong, whose obvious humility prevents him from performing blatant signs and miracles, chose a more subtle tack. As the handicraft of men, in the form of DNA testing, was about to fail and allow the guilty to go free — Nifong spake.
One can only assume that Nifong is at one with Truth itself. Some doubted Nifong and his unusual tactics. Some cried out that his requisition of team member DNA was illegal and unconstitutional. But this was all part of Nifong’s plan. While mere men would be dissuaded by the fact that the genetic material the lacrosse team members proved not to match, Nifong was not. But it was in this way that Nifong chose to manifest to us that he is something more than mortal. What genius on his part! How sublime! As Elijah of old humiliated the 450 prophets of Baal, so Nifong has discredited genetic testing. As science proved false, Nifong proved true.
As we crouch at his feet, Nifong has taught us that there is a lack of DNA evidence "in 75 to 80 percent of all sexual assaults." The perfidious have quipped that there is DNA evidence — evidence to the contrary — in this case. But alas, there will always be scoffers in the face of such magnificence.
While Jesus called only 12, Nifong chose 18. While the 18 were expecting only jury duty, they were instead privy to the great esoteric knowledge of Nifong — his words ringing with such grace and truth that the scales of conventional human knowledge fell from their eyes: "DNA be damned! Nifong knows!" Nifong told them that 2 of the players were guilty and that a third he would prophesy them later. And they believed.
How improbable have been the instruments of Nifong’s plan. He has raised up the lowly exotic dancer, herself a victim of man’s law and a one-time fugitive from police, and used her to smote the forces of drunken public urination.
Now we can only patiently await what Nifong will next reveal to us. Will Nifong allow a judge and jury to free the guilty in order that he may more fully display his power and wisdom? Upon acquittal might he cause the guilty to erupt in fiery all-consuming flame? And how would he treat the judge and jury upon such a miscarriage of justice? We can only hope that he will be merciful in that he has said that the judge and defense attorney bear not "the ultimate responsibility."
Until the time when Nifong chooses to display his omnipotence further we may pass the hours ruminating upon his words:
- The two absolutely essential traits . . . to possess are integrity and good judgment. People of integrity can always develop good judgment through experience, but people who lack integrity can never develop either.
- Diversity alone does not guarantee justice, but you can be sure that a lack of diversity makes the task all the more difficult.
- To deny dignity is to deny justice.
- There are, to be sure, a few monsters among us . . .
In the end everyone must agree that, aside from the accuser and the accused, there must be one who knows what happened that night. Some would place that knowledge in a God who made man in His own image — blessed with the gifts of reason and discernment. Another theory is that Nifong sees all, Nifong knows all. Could the truth be any clearer?
C.T. Rossi [send him mail] is an attorney who lives in Washington, D.C.