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Durham Disgrace Mike Nifong Resurfaces

Darryl Howard rotted in jail for 21 years before being freed this week. Was it all a setup?

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Former DA In Duke Lacrosse Case Heads To Jail For 24 Hours
DURHAM, NC - SEPTEMBER 7: Former District Attorney Mike Nifong (L) is surrounded by supporters, including his wife Cy Gurney (R) as he walks to the Durham County Judicial Building September 7, 2007 in Durham, North Carolina. Nifong was sentenced to 24 hours in jail for contempt of court by lying about DNA evidence during the Duke lacrosse hearings.
Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

One of the nicer things to happen this week was Darryl Howard finally being freed.

Howard, who was convicted of murdering Doris Washington and her 13-year-old daughter Nishonda in 1995, has always maintained his innocence.

Figuring prominently in the case, an unfortunately familiar face: former D.A. Mike Nifong.

New DNA evidence showed that sperm from another man was found in one of the victims. A detective and Nifong said that the case had never been looked at as a sexual assault but the records proved that incorrect, according to Raleigh’s News & Observer.

Judge Ernie Hudson properly vacated the convictions. It’s just a terrible sin that Howard had to rot in jail all these years for something he did not do.

The case will not be retried.

Which brings us back to Nifong.

He’s most notorious for the Duke lacrosse case but as we said when that unraveled, it was hard to believe that he decided to go rogue only in the biggest case he had ever had and with defendants who were from wealthy and powerful families - and in the middle of an election.

Was anyone else screwed? How many poor people did the man abuse - people who couldn’t fight back? How many people did the Durham D.A. office frame?

Is there anyone else that Mike Nifong, or any of his former colleagues, has left to rot in prison?

This should be an urgent question for everyone in Durham.

Knowing what we know now you have to wonder about the Mike Peterson case too.

You have to wonder how Nifong lives with himself.