Nifong in his own words!
On What It Takes to Be a Prosecutor:
The two absolutely essential traits for a prosecutor to possess are integrity and good judgment. People of integrity can always develop good judgment through experience, but people who lack integrity can never develop either. My job is to hire people of integrity and teach them to exercise good judgment.
On Winning Trials:
The shortsighted prosecutor concerns himself only with victory in the courtroom and is willing to take whatever advantage he can, no matter the consequence. The wise prosecutor understands that victory at trial is merely the first step in a journey that ends only with the completion of the appellate process. Along that journey, it is the prosecutor who actually bears the ultimate responsibility for seeing that the defendant has a fair trial, and any prosecutor who leaves that burden for the judge and the defense attorney will likely find himself having to repeat the trip at some point in the future.
On Treating Defendants with Dignity:
There are, to be sure, a few monsters among us, but the vast majority of the defendants who come before the Court are people not very different from those who sit in judgment of them. Perhaps as a result of substance abuse, or lack of opportunity, or a momentary lapse in judgment, they find themselves on the wrong side of the law, but that does not mean that they are not entitled to be treated with the dignity inherent in their humanity. A prosecutor should never be a bully, never take unfair advantage of his authority, never demean a person based on his situation. To deny dignity is to deny justice.
On the Recent Spate of Reports of Prosecutorial Misconduct:
I have never understood why any prosecutor would try to gain an advantage at trial by concealing evidence from the defendant. After all, if the information in question is damaging to the State's case, then the defendant is clearly entitled to have it; if it is not damaging to the State's case, why should it matter if he gets it? That is why I was giving open file discovery in all my cases - and encouraging others to do likewise - more than twenty years before our legislature, in response to the abuse of prosecutorial discretion, required it in all criminal cases. And that is why I have never had a conviction overturned for violating a defendant's right to discover the State's case against him.