Prosecutorial Misconduct is convicting the innocent.
The following are excerpts from an article written by James McCloskey, Director of Centurion Ministries, Inc, in Princeton, N J. The article is very well researched and referenced and it is entitled: "Convicting the Innocent". It appeared in a legal journal in 1989. It reports primarily on the misconduct of law enforcement officers and prosecutors in convicting innocence, accused primarily, of violent crimes. Mr. McCloskey estimates that as many as 10 percent of those convicted and spending long prison sentences, or waiting on death row, may be innocent. According to the article, wrongful convictions were obtained on the basis of several factors, the most important of which are misconduct of law enforcement officers and prosecutors and falsification of the evidence.
A wave of prosecutorial misconduct is subverting Standards of
Fairness and Justice.
The primary duty of a prosecutor is to seek justice and to see that those guilty of real crimes are brought to justice. Society sees the ideal prosecutor as a public official who plays the role with most integrity in a judicial ritual designed to determine the truth. The majority of prosecutors are aware that they must work against any tendencies to oppress a defendant with the many resources they have at hand. These resources include the vast finances of the government offices full of clerks and assistants, crime laboratories and government records. They have numerous other powerful instruments they can command against one defendant. Most defendants have none of these resources to use to defend themselves, and often they have little money. It takes a prosecutor with integrity and respect for the law and for others to avoid the tactics of overkill and excess in prosecuting a case.