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prosecutorialmisconduct
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The End of Absolute Immunity for Prosecutors

Another outstanding feature by The Marshall Project. It’s written by a senior federal trial judge in New York. For 23 years, he’s sentenced the likes of murderers, rapists, gangsters, and fraudsters—some to prison for the rest of their lives. But he says it’s time to put an end to absolute immunity for prosecutors. Absolute immunity is what Read More

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A Tale of Two Rules for California Prosecutors

In the first days of fall, the Golden State has set forth two new, important rules to punish prosecutors who unreasonably, recklessly, or intentionally withhold evidence from the accused. One is a criminal statute that goes into effect next year. The other is an ethics rule that goes into effect if and when the state’s supreme court Read More

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Lies, Damned Lies, and Sex Crimes

If you thought the case from last week was bad, here’s another one that’s worse. This time, the supposed victim hasn’t stepped forward to admit she lied, so the man she accused of child molestation sits in prison, as he has for seventeen years, and the system seems powerless to stop it. What happened? The jury never saw medical records Read More

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An Open Letter to the District Attorney of Orange County

Mr. Rackauckas: Just what is going on in your office, sir? I’m not talking about the fight that broke out in a county courthouse three weeks ago between one of your investigators and a defense attorney. Never mind that if a defense attorney did this to a cop, he’d be arrested so fast his head would spin. (Full Read More

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Something Wicked This Way Comes

I recently watched the documentary, Making A Murderer, and if you haven’t yet, you should. No, it’s not an indictment of all law enforcement. It’s an object lesson in why we should be deeply skeptical of power and the people who lord it over our lives. And how easy it can be for them to get you, too, especially once they’ve Read More

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A House of Cards

That’s how the U.S. Supreme Court described the evidence in a murder case that it reversed last week because the prosecution had wrongly concealed other important evidence from the defense and jury. Factor in that other evidence, the Court held, and the house begins to crumble. How so? There was no physical evidence tying the defendant to the murder, only the Read More

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New California Criminal Laws in 2016

Happy New Year! And with it, here are five important criminal laws that went into effect. Courts must report prosecutors for bad-faith Brady violations. This is Assembly Bill 1328. It amends the Penal Code to provide that a court must report a prosecutor to the State Bar who it finds, by clear and convincing evidence, has deliberately withheld exculpatory evidence in Read More

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But You Promised!

File this one under, #CallYourLawyerFirst. Two weeks ago, a federal court of appeals reversed a man’s conviction for mortgage fraud and ordered the case dismissed because the government had broken its promise not to prosecute him in exchange for his cooperation. The case presents a strange but interesting set of facts. From 2006 to 2007, the man worked for a real-estate firm that came Read More

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The Unlawful Prosecution of U.S. Senator Ted Stevens

That’s the subtitle of a new book, Not Guilty, by Rob Cary, one of the lead defense lawyers in the case. You may remember the garbage prosecution of Ted Stevens from 2008. The case received no shortage of press as it wound its way from indictment to trial to dismissal and, then, to criminal proceedings against the prosecutors who brought it. You Read More

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More Than A Rogue

Last month, the California Court of Appeal published a decision about a 2013 case in which the prosecutor fabricated evidence in order to force the defendant to plead guilty. The defendant had been charged with lewd conduct with a child under the age of 14 after his girlfriend’s daughter alleged several instances of molestation. The defendant pleaded not guilty and was appointed a lawyer to Read More

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