SEARCH BLOG: LAW
When the judge read the sentence Friday evening, Mary Ellen Finnerty of Garden City broke down and cried -- Mike Nifong, the disbarred Durham County, N.C., district attorney who tried to put her son in jail on false rape accusations, was going to jail himself.Let's see, malicious prosecution, prosecutorial misconduct, withholding evidence, denial of rights... that's worth about a day in the pokey.
Nifong was sentenced to one day behind bars for criminal contempt of court in connection with his attempted prosecution last year of Finnerty's son Collin and two other Duke University lacrosse players.
"It does give us closure," said Collin Finnerty's father, Kevin, who attended the hearing in Raleigh with his wife. "I think the three boys have their reputations back."
The jail sentence, however short, represents yet another blow to the tarnished reputation of Nifong, who was also stripped of his law license by the state bar in June.
Thomas Metzloff, a professor at the Duke University School of Law who followed the Nifong case closely, called the sentence "unprecedented."
"This just doesn't happen," he said. "This was a very important moment because it showed that the court system really cared about what happened in this case."
How about 6 hours for embezzlement? And 3 hours for perjury? And 15 seconds for wife abuse?
Will he get 12 hours off for good behavior? Another 3 hours off if he finishes all of his dinner?Sounds like North Carolina is the place to be... if you want to avoid paying the price for your actions.
Nifong took away a year of life from 3 young men. How about a 3-year sentence?The message it sends to prosecutors is that no matter how nefarious their conduct, they are guaranteed a slap on the pinky... at worst.
Let's hope that civil court provides more justice than North Carolina criminal court.