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Sydney Carton
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"A Conviction At Any Cost": 2017 More Cases-Plus
« on: February 24, 2009, 05:16:34 PM »

   
      Aab providessd me  with  a cross-reference to this article but the long story(by June Maxam) well merits a thread of its own.
She writes:
" Police and prosecutorial misconduct seems to be on the increase nationally or perhaps it’s just becoming more visible. Its not just in the small town police departments, it goes all the way up—even into the New York State Police as was evidenced in the 1990s when it was revealed that investigators in Troop C were fabricating fingerprint evidence in order to close cases and get convictions—-a conviction at any cost.



The actions of former Durham County, NC, district attorney Mike Nifong in the Duke lacrosse rape case is one of the most egregious cases of prosecutorial misconduct, willfully making false statements to the court when he said he had given defense attorneys all the results from DNA testing.
But Nifong is one of the few who have been held accountable, found guilty of criminal contempt in the malicious prosecution of the three Duke athletes. http://www.northcountrygazette.org/2007/08/31/nifong-guilty-of-contempt-sentenced-to-day-in-jail/



Now four Justice Department prosecutors who gained the conviction of Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens on seven counts of failing to report gifts have been held in contempt for withholding evidence, failing to turn over documents to the Senator’s lawyers as ordered by the court.



Did you know, according to the Center for Public Integrity:



Since 1970, individual judges and appellate court panels cited prosecutorial misconduct as a factor when dismissing charges at trial, reversing convictions or reducing sentences in at least 2,017 cases.


The nature of the questionable conduct includes:


—Courtroom misconduct (making inappropriate or inflammatory comments in the presence of the jury; introducing or attempting to introduce inadmissible, inappropriate or inflammatory evidence; mischaracterizing the evidence or the facts of the case to the court or jury; committing violations pertaining to the selection of the jury; or making improper closing arguments);

—Mishandling of physical evidence (hiding, destroying or tampering with evidence, case files or court records);

—Failing to disclose exculpatory evidence;

—Threatening, badgering or tampering with witnesses;

—Using false or misleading evidence;

—Harassing, displaying bias toward, or having a vendetta against the defendant or defendant’s counsel (including selective or vindictive prosecution, which includes instances of denial of a speedy trial);

—Improper behavior during grand jury proceedings.




The Center For Public Integrity found that local prosecutors in many of the 2,341 jurisdictions across the nation have stretched, bent or broken rules to win convictions. Since 1970, individual judges and appellate court panels cited prosecutorial misconduct as a factor when dismissing charges, reversing convictions or reducing sentences in over 2,000 cases. In another 500 cases, appellate judges offered opinions—either dissents or concurrences—in which they found the misconduct warranted a reversal. In thousands more, judges labeled prosecutorial behavior inappropriate, but upheld convictions using a doctrine called “harmless error.” Misconduct by prosecutors led to the conviction of innocent individuals who were later exonerated. Guilty defendants have also had their convictions overturned and are placed back on the street. In addition, the Center found many prosecutors who were cited multiple times for misconduct. "

[snip]
Ms.Maxim than devotes several thousand words to a case allegedly going on in her own county.
If her accusations(which appear perfectly probable) check out -and require amplification-we will be back to you on this.
http://www.northcountrygazette.org/2009/02/23/at_any_cost/
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Sydney Carton
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Re: "A Conviction At Any Cost": 2017 More Cases-Plus
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2009, 05:25:38 PM »

   It should of course be clearly noted that 2017 is  the number of legal US jurisdictions involved in (not iinfrequently  criminal) prosecutorial misconduct.Certain  of these have, obviously ,furnished  more than a single example of  prosecutorial transgression during the course of the nearly forty judicial years which  the survey held  under scrutiny.
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Sydney Carton
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Re: "A Conviction At Any Cost": 2017 More Cases-Plus
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2009, 06:50:44 PM »

   Here is the link to the original survey condducted by the Center of Publiic Integrity.It can keep any researcher  happilly wallowing for many hours.
   Published as far back as 2003(meaning it was a thirty-two year survey) but should again be getting a lot of well merited attention with the avalanche of similar cases which have nearly buried our justice system  recently.
              http://projects.publicintegrity.org/PM/
     
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