Duke lacrosse rape case update: DNA lab chief told by DA Mike Nifong NOT to report all DNA data

In a follow-up to this story from earlier this week in which defense attorneys filed papers in court which said that the DNA that was on the alleged victim was DNA from other men and not the accused, the Raleigh-News and Observer files this story:

The head of a private DNA laboratory testified Friday that he and District Attorney Mike Nifong agreed last spring not to report DNA results favorable to Duke lacrosse players charged with rape.

The testimony of DNA Security director Brian Meehan could create difficulties inside and outside the courtroom for Nifong. The district attorney did not challenge Meehan’s testimony, but he said after court that he did not withhold evidence. He said the defense could have asked for that material all along.

North Carolina law requires Nifong to hand over all evidence regardless of whether it has been requested. The sanctions for violating this law could include a dismissal of all charges against the three players.

But what would the possible violation of this law mean for recently re-elected DA Mike Nifong?

Friday’s testimony also will provide grist for those calling for Nifong to be disciplined or prosecuted. A North Carolina congressman recently asked the FBI to investigate the case. And the N.C. State Bar has received a number of complaints calling for Nifong to be disciplined for his public comments condemning the lacrosse players and for directing a police photo identification lineup that violated Durham Police Department policies.

“I tell you, the more you hear about his missteps, the more you have to question whether it’s purely a matter of incompetence or worse,” said James E. Coleman, a law professor at Duke University who has been critical of Nifong.

I’ll go with “or worse.”

Liestoppers has a must-read post on this latest news and wonders about the effects that this case – which more and more each day looks like nothing more than a hoax started by the alleged “victim” and perpetuated by her attorney – may have on real victims of crime everywhere.

On a somewhat lighter note, Betsy Newmark links up to a Saturday Night Live “Nancy Grace on the Duke Lacrosse rape case” skit.

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