Thomas Sowell

Above all, there were black voters who could swing the election Nifong's way if he played the race card and conjured up all the racial injustices of the past, which he would now vow to fight against in the present.

Who cared whose DNA was where? This case could save Nifong's career. There was nothing "inexplicable" about what he did. Despicable yes, inexplicable no.

His inflammatory outbursts against the Duke students in the media are not inexplicable. Neither was his failure to follow standard procedures in presenting the accuser with a lineup that included only white Duke lacrosse players.

The standard procedure of including in a lineup people who are not suspects in the case is intended to test the accuser's credibility. But why would he risk having the accuser's credibility tested before his election?

It was not a question of winning the case. It was a question of winning the election. As for the case, that was not scheduled to come to trial until a year later.

If you cared about justice, you would want to go to trial much sooner, either to nail the Duke students if they were guilty or exonerate them if they were not. But nothing suggests that this was Nifong's agenda.

Now that so many of his misdeeds have been so widely publicized, Nifong's agenda has to include keeping his job and avoiding disbarment or even being prosecuted himself.


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

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