Text of North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper's speech: N.C. attorney general: Duke players 'innocent'
POSTED: 0030 GMT (0830 HKT), April 11, 2007
All sexual assault, kidnapping and other charges have been dropped against the three Duke University lacrosse players indicted for raping an exotic dancer, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced Wednesday.
"The result of our review and investigation shows clearly that there is insufficient evidence to proceed on any of the charges," Cooper said. "Today we are filing notices of dismissal for all charges."
He added: "We believe these cases were a result of a tragic rush to accuse and failure to verify serious allegations. Based on these significant inconsistencies of evidence and the various accounts given by the accusing witness, we believe these three individuals are innocent of these charges."
...The players and Cooper blasted District Attorney Mike Nifong — who originally indicted the players for rape — for overreaching his power as a district attorney, saying the "rogue" prosecutor "pushed ahead unchecked" in this case.
"There were many points in this case where caution would have served justice better than bravado," Cooper said. "This case shows the enormous consequences of overreaching by a prosecutor. What has been learned here is the internal checks on a criminal charge — sworn statements, criminal grounds, proper suspect photo lineups, accurate discovery — all are critically important."
...Cooper's office next week will release the results of its investigation. He also proposed a state law that would give the North Carolina Supreme Court the power to remove a prosecutor from a case in limited circumstances.
Let's not limit it to North Carolina.
ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ - Lynch mobs - one win one loss