An editorial in Thursday’s
called for justice in the case of Darryl Howard who has wrongly served 20 years in prison for a double murder and arson of which he is innocent.
In May, Howard’s convictions were overturned based on new DNA evidence and previously undisclosed evidence pointing to his innocence. The court found that prosecutor Mike Nifong, who was disbarred and held in contempt for his actions in the Duke Lacrosse case, violated Howard’s constitutional rights by failing to turn over exculpatory evidence and for soliciting false and misleading testimony from the lead detective in the case. Despite strong evidence pointing to Howard’s innocence, the prosecution filed a notice of appeal, which delayed justice.
If North Carolina is not careful, it could garner the dubious reputation as a place where expediency trumps justice.
With these type of shenanigans, it’s no wonder that the Innocence Project, which works across the nation to free the wrongfully convicted, is calling for a review of all the capital cases prosecuted by Nifong. There is no telling how many men and women were railroaded. It is not lost on us, by the way, that what finally derailed Nifong was his overzealous prosecution of rich, white boys. Seemingly, he was allowed to employ underhanded tactics for years as long as only the black and poor were impacted.