Duke lacrosse team featured in AG's campaign ad

Chris Rizo Oct. 3, 2008, 3:17pm

Roy Cooper (D)

RALEIGH, N.C. (Legal Newsline) - North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper's first campaign TV ad touts his involvement with the Duke University lacrosse case that captured national headlines in 2006.

In his ad, Cooper shows footage from a news conference where he declared three former Duke lacrosse players innocent of all charges filed against them by Durham County District Attorney Michael Nifong.

The Duke players had been accused of raping a woman hired to perform
as a stripper at a 2005-2006 Duke lacrosse team party.

In January 2007, Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong asked to be recused from the case, so Cooper's office assumed responsibility.

The ad notes that Cooper said at a 2007 press conference there was no genetic evidence to support the woman's story. At the event, Cooper, a Democrat, said the prosecutions were "the result of a tragic rush to accuse and a failure to verify serious allegations."

The ad goes on to say that Cooper helped modernize the state's crime lab and added dozens DNA experts to the staff.

"We use the same technology to establish innocence as we do guilt, and North Carolina is a better state because of it," Cooper says in the 32-second ad.

Cooper, who is seeking a third term as attorney general, is being challenged by Republican attorney Bob Crumley.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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