Prosecutorial Misconduct and Negligence : Tactics for the Trenches is a presentation given by Don Rehkopf on April 21, 2017 to give defense lawyers the law and the tools to increase the odds of prevailing against Prosecutorial Error.
It covers four areas:
1. A linguistic suggestion that is perhaps less psychologically antagonistic than the phrase “prosecutorial misconduct;”
2. A synopsis of the various sources of discovery that must be asserted pretrial in an effort to prevent, but if not, preserve, these discreet issues;
3. A discussion of how to determine just what constitutes prosecutorial error; and
4. Suggestions on how to properly preserve issues of prosecutorial misconduct or error, pretrial and during trial.
“Prosecutors are far less likely to try and take advantage of a defense attorney who is ready to pounce on misconduct by objections and calls for sanctions.”
This publication is an outgrowth of the training course, “Introduction to Juvenile Interview and Interrogation Techniques,” which IACP developed in 2006 in partnership with OJJDP. The training curriculum was created by a unique group of specialists in law enforcement, juvenile public defense, adult learning techniques, and curriculum development. Since 2006, the training course has been delivered 25 times around the United States. Approximately 1,267 law enforcement officers representing 593 agencies from 37 states have completed the course.
“The Chronic Failure to Discipline Prosecutors for Misconduct: Proposals for Reform,” is a paper written by Thomas P. Sullivan and Maurice Possley, published by Northwestern Law’s Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology. http://bit.ly/2k00Onu Sullivan is a former U.S. Attorney; Possley, a former journalist now with the National Registry of Exonerations.
Five suggested reforms:
(1) substituting for the Brady rule a verifiable open-file pretrial discovery requirement on prosecutors;
(2) instead of invoking harmless error, requiring reversal of convictions if serious prosecutorial misconduct is proven;
(3) identifying errant prosecutors by name in trial and appellate opinions;
(4) providing prosecutors with qualified instead of complete immunity from civil damages for misconduct; and
(5) authorizing the Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General to handle investigations of alleged misconduct by federal prosecutors.
See http://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/jclc/vol105/iss4/5/ for the full abstract and article.
In this lecture, Professor Richard Leo discusses false confession cases, exploring the phenomenon of false confessions, the impact of confession evidence, and the causes of false confession.
That’s why independent data journalist Max Galka is launching FOIA Mapper, a Knight Foundation-backed site that goes live today. It aims to streamline the FOIA process by helping users figure out the best ways to request the documents they need.
I think serial killers may lso be responsible for a significant number of wrongful convictions.
Serial killers may be responsible for up to 10 times as many U.S. deaths as previously estimated, according to an analysis by a criminologist at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
Kenna Quinet, associate professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI, makes the case for the higher death figures in an article titled, “The Missing Missing: Toward a Quantification of Serial Murder Victimization in the United States.” It was published recently in the journal Homicide Studies.
No one wants to be charged with a crime. But, if you are, or, if one of your friends or loved ones is, here are five things to consider when deciding whether you’ve got a good defense attorney or not.
“In one of Dror’s most famous studies, he took sets of fingerprints which had been examined by forensic scientists five years before and found to be matching. He gave the same prints to the same unsuspecting experts and this time told them they needed to examine them because the FBI had mistakenly identified them as matching.
Four out of the five experts changed their previous conclusions and said they did not match. The only thing that changed between the two examinations was the information about the FBI findings and with it the clear suggestion the prints did not match.”
The West Virginia Supreme Court said Tuesday that a man could withdraw a guilty plea he made in 2002 for a robbery and rape because prosecutors had withheld DNA testing results suggesting that he was probably innocent.
The case will reverberate more widely, legal experts said, because the West Virginia justices have provided the clearest decision yet on what has been an ambiguous, but important, question about the constitutional rights of criminal defendants.
The Center on Wrongful Convictions (CWC) will consider cases that meet the following criteria:
A claim of actual innocence: The person seeking assistance must be in no way responsible for the crimes of which he or she was convicted.
Post-conviction status: The trial must be completed and have resulted in a conviction and sentence.
If you believe that your claim fits these criteria, please send us a letter to the address below. The letter should briefly summarize the events that led to your current incarceration.
Center on Wrongful Convictions
Northwestern University School of Law
375 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60611
All requests must be sent through the mail. The CWC will not consider requests for representation received via email or over the phone. Please note that all requests must come directly from the person seeking representation, although we will accept supplemental materials from third parties.
The review process for requests for representation can take several months or longer. During this process, the CWC will not provide phone or mail updates about the status of the review. We thank you for your patience. The CWC will send a letter after the review process has been completed.
The CWC does not handle the following types of cases: (1) sentence reduction requests; (2) civil lawsuits.
The Innocence Network is an affiliation of organizations, with a membership list organized by state, dedicated to providing pro bono legal and investigative services to individuals seeking to prove their innocence of crimes for which they have been convicted, as well as working to redress the causes of wrongful convictions.
Karen Ingala Smith writes about the sex-differences in domestic violence killings in the United Kingdom, using figures from the Office of National Statistics. Her key points:
- Far fewer men than women are killed in the context of intimate partner violence (57 men in 3 years compared to 249 women)
- Men are much more likely to be killed by the spouse of a partner or a love rival (14 out of 57 men, compared to none of the 249 women killed)
- Men are much more likely than women to have been killed by someone of the same sex (21 of 57 male homicide victims were killed by a man, compared to one out or 249 women)
- Men are more likely to have been killed by someone they were abusing, women are more likely to have been killed by someone they were being abused by.
See Sex-differences and ‘domestic violence murders’ for the full article.
Excellent, brilliant and well overdue.
“Ours is a world in which justice is accidental, and innocence no protection.” Euripedes, 400 BC.
I come from a legal family, so even though I did not go into law, I’ve had a closeup view of the justice system my entire life, which is, I think, one of the reasons I decided to devote my post-corporate life to innocence work. I saw too many things happening that were not congruent with my view of what a fair and just system should, and must, be. For the past seven years, I’ve been deeply involved in innocence work, and have become knowledgable about the details of many, many cases (100’s) of wrongful conviction and wrongful imprisonment. Consequently, I’ve seen many ways in which actually innocent people become tragic victims of what we call “justice.” There are just so many ways the justice system can get it wrong. This…
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