Duke Lacrosse Case Now In State Hands

From the Raleigh N&O

The state attorney general assumed control Saturday of the Duke lacrosse case, a move that puts fresh eyes on the evidence and on the actions of District Attorney Mike Nifong over the past 10 months.

Attorney General Roy Cooper announced his decision in front of a bank of TV cameras and a throng of reporters chronicling another twist in a case that has stirred torrents of anger.

Cooper said that Jim Coman, a former director of the State Bureau of Investigation and head of the attorney general's Special Prosecution Section, and Mary D. Winstead, a prosecutor in that section, will oversee the case.

The good news, it is now in competent (supposedly) hands, without the influence of winning an election and holding on for dear life. The bad news

It was too early, Cooper said, to know whether a scheduled Feb. 5 hearing would take place in Durham County. Defense attorneys have asked Judge W. Osmond Smith III to throw out the photo lineup in which the accuser identified the three players, saying the procedure violated police department policies.

Color me cynical, and a Constitutionalist, but, in my opinion, justice delayed is justice denied. If the State is not ready, oh well. The burden of proof is on the government, not on the defendent. Any delay violates Amendment VI, and I would love to see the defense make this claim.

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