POLITICAL observations & opinions

* if prosecutors can cheat to get convictions, none of us are safe

Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 11, 2011

see Lew’s author page on amazon …

http://www.amazon.com/Lewis-M.-Weinstein/e/B002IZ1BNK/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

******

John Thompson writes in the NYT (4/9/11) …

  • I SPENT 18 years in prison for robbery and murder, 14 of them on death row.
  • I’ve been free since 2003, exonerated after evidence covered up by prosecutors surfaced just weeks before my execution date.
  • an investigator they had hired to look through the evidence one last time found, on some forgotten microfiche, a report sent to the prosecutors on the blood type of the perpetrator of the armed robbery.
  • It didn’t match mine.

The report, hidden for 15 years,

had never been turned over to my lawyers.

The investigator later found the names of witnesses and police reports

from the murder case that hadn’t been turned over either.

******

Those prosecutors were never punished.

  • The prosecutors involved in my two cases, from the office of the Orleans Parish district attorney, Harry Connick Sr., helped to cover up 10 separate pieces of evidence. And most of them are still able to practice law today.
  • When the hidden evidence first surfaced, Mr. Connick announced that his office would hold a grand jury investigation. But once it became clear how many people had been involved, he called it off.

John Thompson is the director of Resurrection After Exoneration, a support group for exonerated inmates.

read the entire column at … http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/10/opinion/10thompson.html?scp=1&sq=the%20prosecution%20rests&st=cse

******

LMW COMMENT …

The abuse of power by some prosecutors (and police) is a sickness of the American justice system that no one seems interested in addressing. Other prosecutors will simply not prosecute their colleagues, even when their purposeful behavior sends innocent people to prison or to death. Legislatures made up largely of lawyers will not pass laws clearly defining prosecutorial abuse as criminal behavior.

I have been furious about this problem for years, prompting my second novel, A Good Conviction, about a young man convicted of murder by a New York City prosecutor who knew he was innocent.

Here is “Prosecutors Gone Wild”, one of many articles on this topic  …   http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/03/opinion/03farmer.html?ref=opinion …  by John Farmer, who was the attorney general of New Jersey from 1999 to 2002.

see also … the Chicago Tribune series titled Trial and Error, How Prosecutors Sacrifice Justice to Win, by Ken Armstrong and Maurice Possley … http://www.nacdl.org/public.nsf/newsreleases/99mn001?opendocument

******

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: