UPDATED to include our incursion into Mr. Markus's territory.
Submitted for your consideration: our discussion on the SAO and training.
We are probably not the best source for this discussion because our contact with new prosecutors is limited. However, we have heard from lawyers who practice in County Court daily that the training for the new prosecutors is wanting.
We do not think that prosecutors are told to convict the innocent. We do believe that almost every prosecutor would dismiss charges against a person who is innocent.
But innocence is a difficult concept. We are not talking about the person who can prove he/she was having dinner with the Pope when the crime was committed.
We are talking about cases that do not have a such a clear line.
It is our belief, based not on a scientific survey, but more on a series of discussions with prosecutors over the years, that the training in the SAO has more to do with winning cases than seeking justice. It is our contention that in the 1980’s a young prosecutor who was troubled by a case had more authority to seek justice, and less difficulty in dealing with a seemingly endless myriad of supervisors to obtain a justified result.
It is our opinion-based on experience- that today prosecutors are trained to attack a justified defense, rather than seriously consider it. We have heard of young prosecutors frustrated to the point of quitting, by a bureaucracy that will not listen to them.
Perhaps we are right, perhaps we are wrong.
We invite discussion on this issue.
We are often asked to hold emails confidential. We are often emailed by Judges, politicians, well known lawyers, and asked to post their thoughts anonymously or keep their emails in confidence. We have always honored that request. Should any prosecutor care to email us confidentially, we will keep their identity secret to the extent the law allows.
Have at it.
See You in Court.
PS: Mr. Markus has been stealing our material lately, so turn about is fair play .
Click for the Supreme Court Opinion today in Brendlin v. California in which Justice Souter, writing for a unanimous court found that passengers in vehicles are "stopped" within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment and thus have standing to challenge the stop.
The SCOTUS BLOGis a good resource for all things doing with the Magnificent Nine