Prosecutor Misconduct Research Paper

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Prosecutor’s Misconduct VS the Wrongly Convicted Since 1989, “The National Registry of Exonerations”, founded in 2012 provides detailed information detailing all known unjustly convicted persons in the United States. “They announced that the release of the unjustly convicted hit a record high of 127 inmates being released from prison for crimes that they did not commit”. (USA Today) Today, the total of known exonerees is 1555. It goes without saying that the greatest miscarriage of justice is going to prison for a crime they did not commit. Not too long ago, the public was blissfully unaware that innocent people could be convicted of crimes not committed. News coverage has brought a new awareness to this prominent issue. The fact that these …show more content…
Their routine, everyday decisions control the direction and outcome of criminal cases and have greater impact and more serious consequences than those of any other criminal justice official”. (Davis) They have the power to charge suspects. They also have the power to dismiss cases. The prosecutor function is to be the minister of justice. The prosecutor must believe that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt even before it goes to trial. They are supposed to be trained to balance fairness and decency. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Prosecutor misconduct occurs when in the course of their duties they act in ways that are unethical and illegal. Withholding evidence, witness tampering, introduction of false evidence and improper closing arguments are just a few of the tactics used by prosecutors to ensure that they win their conviction. It is hard to understand why a prosecutor would want to deliberately withhold evidence of a person’s innocence. It is this egregious misconduct which leads to the conviction of innocent people. What does the prosecutor have to gain by this misconduct? Unfortunately, all too often prosecutors fall under the spell of conviction-seeking no matter what. They become focused on conviction rates. They forgot that their judicial duties are to guard the rights of the accused and protect the …show more content…
One theory for the disparity in sanctions for prosecutors is that prosecutorial misconduct is underreported and rarely sanctioned in the first place. (Georgetown Journal) This is due to the fact that many cases of procedural misconduct are not reported to disciplinary boards. The reason for this, is that is most likely that it would be the criminal defense attorneys that did the reporting as opposed to the defendant. Criminal defense attorneys are skeptical about reporting misdeed by prosecutors for fear of retaliation on their future clients. "Defense attorneys know that their future clients are at the mercy of the [prosecutor 's] office and its wide-ranging discretion in determining charges and plea offers in future cases." Criminal defense attorneys have a strong incentive to allow unreported misconduct because the cost to their future clients can be significantly high. Consequently, prosecutors, unlike judges, parole boards, and even other entities within the executive branch such as police, presidents, and governors, have escaped the kind of scrutiny and accountability that we demand of public officials in a democratic society. Prosecutors have been left to regulate themselves, and, not surprisingly, such self-regulation has been either nonexistent or woefully inadequate. (Davis) However, there are those who are against prosecuting prosecutors. They believe

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