Friday, June 26, 2015

Why Do Prosecutors Fight to Maintain Wrongful Convictions?

When it comes to our criminal justice system, prosecutor and police misconduct remains the elephant in the courtroom. Sometimes it is spoken about, but rarely is any action taken. One recent exception to this pattern of inaction, however, can be seen in Orange County, California, where all 250 lawyers in the district attorney's office have been disqualified from participation in a capital murder case. After evidence surfaced that the District Attorney's office, in concert with the county sheriff's department, had systematically suppressed exculpatory evidence in at least forty cases, Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals removed every single prosecutor from the DA's office from the case.

...Careers are made off of many wrongful convictions. Some of these same officers go on to be police commissioners. Some district attorneys go on to become judges in state and federal courts, and some become attorney generals. Innocent prisoners are the skeletons in their closets. If our stories were ever to get out, their careers--and those of many others--would come into question. It's sad, but egos also play an integral part. Most of the time, prosecutors are only concerned with winning cases to put more notches on their belts. Justice is rarely on their agendas.


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