No one says prosecutors have an easy job. They serve the public by upholding the law. Their job is to convict individuals who have committed a crime, just as a defense lawyer’s job is to see that his or her client does not get convicted for something they did not do. The majority of prosecutors have integrity. Sometimes it’s the prosecutor who gets a death sentence, as in the case of Kaufman County, Texas Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse who was executed outside a courthouse on January 31, and District Attorney Michael McLelland who was murdered along with his wife in his home on March 31.
Although most prosecutors do their job honorably, there is disturbing evidence that others do not. Prosecutors have a great amount of power (see Reentry Central News September 28, 2011 and August 22, 2012). What happens when unscrupulous prosecutors deliberately withhold crucial evidence, or engage in other acts of prosecutorial misconduct? The answer is innocent people may be sent to prison, or be executed. A Veritas Initiative report, Preventable Error: A Report on Prosecutorial Misconduct in California 1997–2009 found that in most cases where prosecutorial misconduct was discovered the Court still upheld the convictions. Click here to go to Website
ProPublica offers a gripping look at cases in New York in Who Polices Prosecutors Who Abuse Their Authority? Usually Nobody, part one of a series. Click here to go to website
Part two of the series, Lasting Damage: A Rogue Prosecutor’s Final Case, can be read by clicking on the link below.