A year after vowing to prove three Duke
lacrosse players guilty of sexual assault -- and one day after they
were cleared -- Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong has
apologized to the athletes.
In a statement, Nifong apologizes for any judgments that he made
"that ultimately proved to be incorrect."
North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper dropped charges
against the players Wednesday, and declared them innocent. He said
his own probe concluded that no attack occurred. Cooper said the
three players were victims of Nifong's "tragic rush to accuse."
In the statement, Nifong says that when someone is wrongly
accused, the harm can't always be undone right away simply by
dismissing the charges. Nifong says he hopes the actions of the
state attorney general "will serve to remedy any remaining
But an attorney for one of the players is responding bitterly to
the apology. Jim Cooney says it's hard to accept an apology from
someone who "refuses to know all the facts" -- and who makes a
judgment that "destroys lives."