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IN THE NEWS
PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT & ACCOUNTABILITY
Washington, Apr. 1, 2021: A judge overturned Mr. Levy-Aldrete's murder conviction because of prosecutorial misconduct; the DA trivialized and provided an inaccurate description about the state's obligation to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Texas, Mar. 20, 2021: A DA has left the office, but the impact of her misconduct continues, this time hiding DNA evidence. The current DA said of his former employee, "I can not imagine a lead attorney not being extremely knowledgeable of all the facts in the case that is being prepared for trial. To not know all about the file is inexcusable and inconceivable.”
California, Mar. 19, 2021: The Orange County DA’s Office has repeatedly hidden multiple officers' history of dishonesty from the defense, even though the law requires that information to be disclosed. This kind of fraud leads to wrongful conviction of innocent people.
California, Mar. 19, 2021: Accused of misconduct, Alameda DA stops all ‘informal discussions’ with public defenders. (Read a related news commentary, "Why Do a Lot of DAs Seem to Have the Maturity of a Petulant Child?" Mar. 21, 2021, The Davis Vanguard.)
Kansas, Mar. 16, 2021: Lamonte McIntyre was released from prison after 23 years for a double homicide he did not commit. The convictions were overturned after discovering the Federal prosecutor committed prosecutorial misconduct, including threatening to take away the children of an "eye-witness" if she failed to identify Mr. McIntyre as the perpetrator.
Michigan, Mar. 12, 2021: Sexual assault conviction overturned because the prosecutor intentionally had the detective make false statements while testifying at the trial, resulting in the conviction of an innocent man, or seriously affecting the fairness, integrity, and public reputation of the justice system.
New York, Mar. 5, 2021: Three men, Gary Johnson, George Bell, and Rohan Bolt, were released from prison after spending 20 years for a murder they did not commit. The reason? It was revealed that the DA deliberately hid FIVE witness accounts that linked the murder to other individuals.
Washington, Feb. 28, 2021: Even after a judge hammered the prosecutor for hiding evidence of innocence, manufacturing evidence, and lying to the judge, the DA was not disciplined by the regulation authority and he is back at work putting people away.
New York, Feb. 25, 2021: Prosecutors admit to lying and hiding evidence from the accused to get a conviction. "The prosecutorial misconduct in this case has been shocking and disappointing."
Kansas, Feb. 21, 2021: Pete Coones died just 108 days after he was exonerated and released from prison, having served 12 years for a death he did not commit. The prosecutor hid evidence of his innocence during his trial.
Pennsylvania, Feb. 13, 2021: Christopher Williams was charged 6 murders; he was found not guilty of 2, and the other 4 he has been exonerated after spending 25 years on death row. He has been cleared now that it is obvious that the prosecutor withheld evidence and build a case based on lies.
Michigan, Jan. 30, 2021: Aaron Meinkwic's conviction is reversed because the prosecutor that handled his case, also was the co-defendant's defense counsel, before he became a prosecutor. The Court declared that this was “clearly unfair and improper,” and found “the egregiousness of Koerner’s ethical violation fundamentally undermines the integrity of defendant’s trial and necessitates reversal.”
California, Jan. 23, 2021: Kevin Cooper appears to be innocent of committing murder, yet the prosecutors are resisting looking at their bungled investigation in order to execute him.
Jan. 22, 2021: Even in the most visible of cases, prosecutors hid behind the shield of a secret grand jury and allowed the murder of Breonna Taylor to go prosecuted. Now grand jurors are standing up to prosecutors for “breaching the public trust”.
Michigan, Jan. 18, 2021: Delilah Evans' murder conviction was reversed, due to prosecutorial misconduct. The court stated, “The gratuitous insults hurled at Dr. Rowland dripped with hostility, ridicule and aggression. They violated not only the prosecutor’s obligation as a prosecutor but as an attorney.”
Georgia, Jan. 8, 2021: After years of concealing evidence of innocence causing wrongful convictions, Ex-Elected DA Johnson was never disciplined, and could not be sued due to immunity laws. He was finally voted out.
New York, Jan 6, 2021: Few Elected Prosecutors Concede Misconduct, and Even Fewer Go the Extra Step of Promising a No Tolerance for Policy for Prosecutorial Misconduct
Pennsylvania, Jan. 2, 2021: Mr. Outlaw was wrongfully convicted of murder due to the prosecution's withholding and failure to investigate the alternate suspect. Reviewing the case, the new prosecutor stated, “Prosecutions that lack integrity are not justice. Mr. Outlaw did not receive a fair trial, and as a result, he was wrongly incarcerated for nearly 16 years.”
Massachusetts, Dec. 31, 2020: Prosecutor suspended (not disbarred!) for abdicating his duty as a public officer for withholding evidence of innocence in murder case.
Illinois, Dec. 22, 2020: As a result of prosecutors hiding and destroying evidence, a judge granted Jackie Wilson a Certificate of Innocence after spending 3 decades in prison for a 1982 cop-killing he did not commit.
Texas, Dec. 19. 2020: Exoneree Alfred Dewayne Brown eligible for up to 2 million dollars for being wrongly imprisoned for 12 years on Death Row due to Prosecutors concealing phone records that supported his alibi.
Massachusetts, Dec. 18, 2020: Prosecutors Conceal Officers History of Lying on the Witness Stand from the Accused
Minnesota, Dec. 16, 2020: Myon Murrell is free after the Court found multiple serious instances of prosecutorial misconduct which was recently uncovered only after Myon was sent to prison 17 years ago when he was 16-years-old.
NBC Think Opinion, Nov. 20, 2020: Prosecutorial misconduct played a role in 30 percent of cases from 1989 to 2019 that later resulted in exoneration. It's time for reform.
Virginia, Nov. 13, 2020: Elected DA Steve Descano promised reform and transparency, yet concealed evidence of innocence for 9 months in murder case set for trial in a month.
Louisiana, Nov. 12, 2020: In Spite of Prosecution's "Open-File" Policy - Prosecution Failed to Turn Over Key Witness Criminal History - Judge States Concealing Evidence "Will not Be Tolerated"
Pennsylvania, Nov. 6 2020: Roderick Johnson's double murder conviction and death sentence were dismissed after serving 23 years on death row due to egregious and intentional prosecutorial misconduct which concealed critical impeachment evidence.
Mississippi, Sept. 18 2020: Curtis Flowers was prosecuted by Doug Evans 6 times and given 4 death sentences, serving 23 years behind bars until he was exonerated for a murder he did not commit. Conservative Supreme Court Justices Alito and Kavananaugh were both astounded that Prosecutor Evans was permitted to continue going after Mr. Flowers in consideration of his intentional misconduct; and because Evans is an elected official he cannot be fired.
Fremont County, Barry Morphew: On Apr. 19, 2022, murder charges were dismissed. The prosecution was punished by "significant" and "warranted" sanctions, due to a "continuing pattern" of failing to comply with its legal obligation to turn over discovery before a trial. The judge wrote their "actions amount to negligent, and arguably, reckless disregard" of Rule 16 and subsequent court orders. Although Mr. Morphew is now free, the government dismissed the case so that they can try again. (9News article, Apr. 19, 2022.)
La Plata County, Anthony Fitts: After excessive abuse of power came to light, Mr. Fitts was exonerated, and the State of Colorado paid him $64,960 for the time he wrongly spent in prison. The prosecution engaged in willful blindness and it was grossly negligent for the District Attorney's office to prosecute this alleged rape. Specifically, DA Sean Murray did not adequately interview the alleged victim, and therefore did not learn the facts of Mr. Fitts' innocence. (Durango Herald news article, May 16, 2019.)
Weld County, Tom Fallis: The Tom Fallis case and resulting exoneration highlight the way prosecutorial misconduct can be easily committed in secret grand jury proceedings. Hoping the AG follows their ethical obligations in the grand jury ingestion into Elijah McClain’s murder. (Recently republished 5280 features article, October 2017.)
Denver County, Micah Kimball: In 2020 Mr. Kimball was acquitted of 1st Degree Murder following Denver Chief Deputy DA and Denver homicide detectives concealing their crime scene and blood stain analyst's expert's opinion that the deceased died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Denver Post news article, Aug. 6, 2020.)
El Paso County, Gary Warmker: Sexual abuse conviction overturned due to Deputy DA's highly improper statements made during trial. It does not appear that this DA suffered any sanction, and in fact was later hired by the Boulder County DA's Office. (The Gazette news article, Aug. 12, 2020)
Adams County, Yolanda Vialpando: Auto theft conviction overturned after a Deputy DA made improper and highly prejudicial statements during trial. The DA was recently hired by US Attorneys Office and is now an Assistant US Attorney. (CO Court of Appeals opinion.)
Denver County, Clarence Moses-El: In 2016 Mr. Moses-El was fully exonerated at his second trial after spending twenty years in prison for a wrongful conviction. It was revealed that the Denver Police Department destroyed DNA evidence and manufactured other evidence, and that the Denver DA's office unfairly prosecuted him. The Denver Chief Deputy DA has been promoted and provided an award for her work at the DA's office, and the Denver police officers have not suffered any sanctions. (More information found here on the National Registry of Exoneration.)
Arapahoe County, David Bueno: Death penalty conviction reversed upon discovering Chief Deputy DA concealed evidence of innocence possessed at the beginning of the death penalty prosecution. All involved DA's have either been elevated or have not been sanctioned for their misconduct. (CO Court of Appeals opinion.)
Boulder County, Coleman Stewart: Exonerated after wrongful conviction overturned and dismissed due to 4 police officers making false statements framing Mr. Stewart and a Chief Deputy DA making improper statements during trial. None of the involved officers or DA's have been sanctioned for their misconduct. A civil suit is pending against the officers, however the law gives prosecutors have immunity. (More information found here on the National Registry of Exoneration.)
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