Prosecutors Can Get Away With Virtually Anything

Posted: October 8, 2010 by parchangelo in Uncategorized

Example of Common Prosecutorial Misconduct in Court Argument & Evidence Presentation: this attorney is not the most articulate, but he points out a couple of subtle ways in which the prosecutor in this case has first mispresented “facts” to the jury, and then uses the unlikely testimony of an jailhouse informant and ‘expert” with questionable credentials in the same case. Would the jury be able to percieve on it’s own the problems with this testimony?

People assume that prosecutions are unbiased and that prosecutors dismiss charges against persons who they find to be innocent and do not manipulate or hid evidence which can exonerate defendants. Instead, the opposite seems to be generally true; that once they charge an individual, prosecutors (both state and federal), do not later consider dropping charges when proof is weak or inconsistencies arise or when they know that it is highly unlikely that the person they are charging is guilty. Instead they continue to prosecute and will even manipulate, conceal, or destroy evidence they uncover which would help or exonerate defendants, and sometimes go further to create incriminating evidence against them.

They do this because, by and large, prosecutors consider themselves to be protected by law from any ramifications from what they do, and as the series below from USA Today illustrates, prosecutorial misconduct is a serious and growing problem affecting many defendants and their lives nationwide. We suggest you read all of this USA Today series which is very informative.

“…A USA TODAY investigation documented 201 cases since 1997 in which judges determined that federal prosecutors had violated laws or ethics rules. Although those cases represent a small fraction of the tens of thousands that are filed in the nation’s federal courts every year, judges found that the violations were so serious that they overturned convictions or rebuked the prosecutors for misconduct. Some of the abuses put innocent people in jail.

Not one resulted in a successful lawsuit against a prosecutor…”

Even when the attempt is made to hold prosecutors accountable in some manner for what they do, the actions rarely seem to stick.  Geanette Wittendorf (the first Winnebago County State’s Attorney to be held in contempt by the court in 2008 for her actions in prosecuting a local case) just recently won a reversal on appeal of her contempt conviction (along with it’s paltry $500 fine).

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