Saturday, October 20, 2012

PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT

USA TODAY investigated prosecutorial misconduct. Say it ain't so Joe!

Our thoughts: Those prosecutors who came up through the state attorneys office when Janet Reno was the state attorney had fairness drilled into them. The culture of the office was to always first make sure the person being prosecuted was not innocent. There was no cutting corners or walking close to the line in how prosecutors conducted themselves and the decisions they made on filing charges or the discovery provided. 

We're not saying any prosecutor* or any particular office disagrees with what we just wrote. What we are saying is that culture of JOB ONE being protecting the innocent and making sure no one is wrongly accused appears to be missing. We see more prosecutors looking for loopholes in Brady then in just working hard to follow what Brady requires.  And that is troubling and that leads to tragedies. 

The link to the video is here. 

Invest the eight minutes to watch how  prosecutors who do not hold themselves to the highest standard can wreck innocent lives. 

Enjoy another beautiful weekend. 

*There was one prosecutor at the Dade SAO who we were certain enjoyed toying with defendants, keeping them in jail longer just because he could and who played all sorts of games with discovery  because he thought nothing could happen to him. Off the record discussions with his colleagues confirmed our observations. Sadly he was a division chief when our paths crossed and his behavior in the case we handled was shocking to say the least. However, karma is a powerful tool and his own personal peccadilloes brought him down in disgrace. Our client thankfully survived his encounter with this evil individual.




36 comments:

abe laeser said...

I do not mean to pontificate, but the rules for prosecutors are simple -- much like the Hippocratic oath: First, do no harm.

BRADY must be given immediately. No gamesmanship. If that results in an acquittal, then the person was not guilty.

Witnesses who lie about material points do not get on the witness stand. You control who is called to testify.

And most important, if you have a reasonable doubt of the defendant's guilt, do not use your courtroom skills to "beat" your opponent. You should not go to trial just to see if you can put the innocent into prison.

Work your tail off to convict the guilty, not the almost guilty -- even if you think that you are a skilled advocate and could win at trial. It is not a test of the better lawyer -- but whether the person is deserving of punishment for this offense that should be your only consideration.

I have been accused of being very hard as a prosecutor, but rarely has someone suggested that I was unfair [and I still think that they were wrong]. You can do your job without cutting corners.

Anonymous said...

I dealt with an ASA just like that last year. Kept the guy in jail an extra few days and would have kept the guy in jail for another month if I hadn't gone over her head to Kathleen Hoague. And then when she was forced by her supervisor to Nolle Pros the case, she didn't even have the balls to show up in court. I think in Dade there are very few ASA's who would do this and the office culture overall does not condone it. However, there are always some bad apples.

Christian Dunham

Anonymous said...

That asterick must belong to that little, conniving, sexually harassing, fake Jesus freak that used to be the DC before former Judge "shitforbrains" on the 3rd floor.

"American Minority" said...

Rumpole,

Thanks for posting the piece I sent you. Contrary to what others may think or say, I prefer pragmatic dialogue.

I was conversing with a friend at a frequent of ours, on Las Olas, who is an ASA, and he shared an interesting point with me "no matter how egregious, a prosecutor's conduct is, chances are judges wont do anything;only under dire circumstances." Then he showed me this piece in USA Today.

Mr. Laser, Yevarechecha hasem,if you if you truly were the the type of scrupulous,ASA that you reference your self to have been.There are so many unscrupulous, win at all cost,supposedly sworn to a higher professional code of conduct Judicial Officers in our Courts. It is a disgrace and a circumvention to our Constitution when ASA take the low road. If you have a clean case there should be no need to connive or unethically maneuver to strive for a conviction.

~AM~

DS said...

AM
Bernard shut up.
You don't even know who Abe is, so you shouldnt be commenting on him.

Anonymous said...

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

"American Minority" said...

DS,

"There you go again."

Your greatest nemesis is that your mouth moves faster than your brain. The comment is a compliment to Abe. Speak what you are cognizant of, and who in the hell is, Bernard?

Anonymous said...

AM, would you just shut up.

Anonymous said...

AM, have you passed the Bar yet?

BTDT

"American Minority" said...

Rump,

I thought you stated you were going to put and end to the nonsense of DS? Was that just for that instance? DS's harassment has grown quite obsessive.


Ds, do you ever spend time trial prepping? What kind of PD are you? ["Pretender/Defender", for sure.]

How about you just leave me be; are you envious of me? That's the only thing I can conclude.

Anonymous said...

Btdt, ds and the rest of you idiots that think AM is a real person, he is not. He was invented by a race baiter, to get a rise out of people who take themselves too seriously.

Anonymous said...

The MD SAO has Prosecutors that see cases as a "competition". That there value as human beings is rated on how successful they are in gaining convictions regardless of the tactics that are used in gaining those convictions. The problem with "the system" is that when these prosecutorial abuses/misconducts are revealved very little is done in the way of holding the individual Prosecutors accountable for their actions. The Prosecutors are able to hide behind their immunity to lawsuits and criminal charges due to the laws protecting them. The Florida Bar, all attorneys in the same Fraternity, slap the wrist of the offending Prosecutors. The offending Prosecutors at worst lose their jobs. Is that enough?
When a violation against a law occurs by an individual citizen they are held accountable by being arrested if it is a criminal offence or are sued if it is civil. Prosecutors and Judges get a repremand? In a system of justice all parties should be held to the same standard. If it is found that prosecutorial misconduct or abuse has happened the Prosecutor should be held accountable--to what ever level is appropriate. Of course law enforcement, attorneys and judges enforce, interpret and represent the laws of MD and Florida but when they are caught breaking the laws they manuever and downplay their involvement while they exaggarate and elevate most other cases against the general public. It is time for the Prosecutors, Judges and law enforcement be held to THE SAME STANDARD AS EVERYONE ELSE. No more "fox guarding the henhouse" mentality or "do as I say, not as I do". KFR has a few rogue Prosecutors, we all know who they are, that have destroyed peoples lives with their tactics, yet nothing has been done to them to hold them accountable for their actions. They should be removed from their powerful positions and held accountable. Only then will the message that "we who seek justice" have any real meaning.

Anonymous said...

Gail Levine is another ASA who does not follow the rules. She has her own set of rules - to just attack at any cost, guilty or innocent. She is a liar and will continue to do so as long as she remains an ASA.

Anonymous said...

DS/AM are ruining this blog.

Anonymous said...

Shut up Bernard!

DS said...

AM

Come by 3-2 & see,

Talk to me after you have tried
160+ Felony Jury Trials

Envious of YOU -- LMFAO
hahaa or jajaja

Rumpole said...

Dial it down guys.

DS said...

Rumpole,
Sorry - I apologize
DS

Anonymous said...

BTDT @9:38- that question was posted/asked in a previous comment thread on a former post. I'm still waiting on the answer but as far as I think AM obtained all his legal knowledge by watching old reruns of L.A. Law

Calling the shumie!

Anonymous said...

To those of you who say the Miami SAO has rogue prosecutors who convict the innocent and fail to play by the rules: back up your allegations. You know - with evidence. What did you do about these so-called injustices? If you did nothing, then you are as bad as the prosecutor.

Former ASA said...

AM, if you don't know who Abe Laeser is, you are either a poser or the most ignorant person ever to post on this blog.

Anyone who knows Abe--ASA, defense attorney or judge--knows that while he was a tough ASA, not to mention one of the finest trial lawyers to grace the REGJB, he practiced with the highest ethics.

"American Minority" said...

Guess whom I had the opportunity to speak with at church today?
Florida Supreme Court Justice Peggy Quince.

She is a wonderful and intelligent lady, and Judge. She shared some very relative points and views.

~AM~

"American Minority" said...

Former ASA,


Your reading comprehension is apparently inadequate, re-read the former, and latter post Mr. Ingenious.

Goes to show you are not at all attentive.

"American Minority" said...

If the DOJ were made aware of the instances of prosecutorial misconduct more often, perhaps the unethical behavior that goes with the ASA's, would subside and there would be more accountability.

Apathy is a inclusive factor to this problem as well. Apathy in the form of Judges,MD SAO,MDPD.

The general public is oblivious to these misconducts, however we who are or should consider themselves as watchdogs partake in some apathetic code of silence to such offenses.

Anonymous said...

Bernard is gifted too. DS and Bernard are like peas in a pod.

Anonymous said...

AM, the biggest instances of prosecutorial misconduct come from the DOJ.

Anonymous said...

What ever happened to the PD Bill Sweet Music McBramby? The guy gave the smoothest closings ever which is why Morphonios nicknamed him "sweet music"

Anonymous said...

ASAs do not work for DOJ.

Anonymous said...

Rump, is Bernard a contributor too now? How do his posts show up so fast? Oh please make him a contributor!

Anonymous said...

Well I just dropped off Miss UM hot pants intern that I picked up at the bench and bar mixer. A very nice weekend at the condo in the Keys has me done worn out. And a shout out to my favorite judge who worked as my wing man and helped me bag this intern. Thanks your honor. I owe you pal.

Anonymous said...

Rump, please throttle AM. He adds nothing and is 87% moron.

Anonymous said...

KOSTRZEWSKI. Special K, Wild Bill, etc.

"American Minority" said...

Doesn't take long for jealousy to set in. How about sticking to the point of the Blog Piece.#Jealously

Anonymous said...

@9:18

Having interned in Gail Levine's division as a 2L, as well as being her C and B ASA a few years later and trying homicide cases with her, I can tell you that Gail Levine is a straight shooter who is a zealous advocate for the State. As far as "not playing by the rules," if she suspected that anyone in her division was not playing by the rules or otherwise playing games with the defense of the Court, that ASA would have a miserable tenure at the SAO. She doesn't play games, nor would she tolerate it from any ASA she supervised.

PS

"American Minority" said...

3:43pm,

Get a grip on reality. Why is that Gail Levine was cited/admonished by the FSC?

She is unscrupulous.

Anonymous said...

8:28:00 PM - I agree, Gail Levine is unscrupulous and will lie and do whatever she has to in order to get a conviction. Why was Gail Levine cited/admonished by the FSC? and I believe the Third DCA as well.