The problem of prosecutorial misconduct was in the national spotlight when North Carolina district attorney Mike Nifong was disbarred after his mishandling of the Duke lacrosse rape case. In TomPaine.com, Christopher Hill and William Webster of the ACLU's Capital Punishment Project (CPP) point out that defendants in death penalty cases face even graver punishment:
While the Duke players faced a real risk of going to prison, there are other citizens of North Carolina and elsewhere across the country who have faced even greater risks because of prosecutorial misconduct, who have been sent to death row and even been executed. While former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong is no longer free to deny justice to other defendants, the prosecutors in many of those death penalty cases are still allowed to practice law. State ethics boards have, in effect, allowed death before disbarment.