Posted by bmac on January 16, 2008
Steve H. has a really interesting take on the Nifong thing at Hog On Ice:
People are surprised when I say I no longer support the death penalty. Here is my explanation: Mike Nifong.
Look at what he did, and then tell me you’re positive every inmate on death row is guilty. How many Nifongs have succeeded where this one failed? Now that we have the ability to replicate and analyze DNA, we have disturbing evidence that the number may be very high.
He’s got a point there. Made me think about the death penalty differently. Prosecutors also seem to be on the verge of incompetent most of the time, probably because the big bucks are in defense. It seems like whenever someone has the money for a good defense, prosecutors get eaten alive in court. Had this case gone to trial, I think Nifong would have had his ass handed to him by the lawyers the Duke boys could afford, (unless the jury was prejudicial) but what if they weren’t rich?
The O.J. case comes to mind. Granted, with the jury they had, a conviction was impossible even if they had a video of O.J. cutting his wife’s head off, but those prosecutors were like children compared with O.J.’s lawyers. And this was L.A., The Big Leagues, the very best the city of Los Angeles had to offer prosecute that case, and they were bumbling morons, regardless of the verdict. Or the equally incompetent Judge Ito.
So think how competent the prosecutors and judges are in most smaller cities. Doesn’t give you much confidence if you think about it. I don’t think there’s a lot of Vincent Bugliosi’s out there.