News 08.25.10

New Report: Prosecutorial Misconduct and Wrongful Convictions

Prosecutorial misconduct is a leading cause of wrongful conviction, and

a new Innocence Project report

released today provides evidence that appeals courts in the U.S. do not effectively identify and overturn these injustices.

Although countless instances of misconduct never come to light, the Innocence Project review found that 65 of the first 255 DNA exonerees raised allegations of prosecutorial misconduct in their appeals or in civil suits filed after exoneration. In about half of those cases, courts found either error or misconduct by prosecutors, but judges only found “harmful error” – enough to overturn a conviction – in 12 cases.

The rate of harmful error findings (18%) in wrongful conviction cases is nearly identical to the rate found in a much broader universe of cases examined in

a 2003 study by the Center for Public Integrity

. These cases weren’t innocence cases (meaning they hadn’t been overturned based on evidence of innocence), but the courts found harmful error by prosecutors in 17.6% of cases.

Based on this result, the new Innocence Project report finds that “innocent persons raising claims of misconduct on appeal are not much more likely to find relief than presumed guilty persons raising similar claims—a suggestion that raises questions about the ability of the appellate process to correct wrongful convictions.” Among the findings in the new Innocence Project report are:

• Sixty-five of the first 255 DNA exoneration cases involved appeals and/or civil lawsuits alleging prosecutorial misconduct.

• In nearly half of those 65 cases, courts found prosecutorial misconduct or error.

• In 18% of the prosecutorial misconduct claims in wrongful conviction cases, courts overturned convictions or found harmful error – a rate nearly identical to harmful error findings in a larger study of misconduct allegations, including thousands of cases where defendants did not claim innocence.

• Improper argument at trial and withheld evidence of innocence were the forms of misconduct alleged most commonly by wrongfully convicted defendants.

Read the full report here

. (PDF)

Leave a reply

  1. Kenneth Tennant says:

    “Trial judge” MARK RAY LAWSON effectively withheld from trial witnesses and exculpatory evidence by quashing subpoenas.
    STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER, DEREK GORDON JONES proved to be incompetent, dishonest, and ineffective.
    Iowa State BAR associate Thomas Hurd was then appointed as Appellate Counsel. Hurd ignored the elephant Hurd in the room, raising only one issue: the inadvertant violation of the right to a speedy trial. Hurd neglected to raise standard appellate issues, ineffective assistance of counsel and ignored the Withholding exculpatory evidence and other Constitutional Violations that had been raised pro se in the Supplemental appeal brief, 17-0648.
    Iowa BAR Associate TOM J MILLER, Attorney General, Defrauded Taxpayers of Honest Government Services by taking three extensions of time only to conceal and cover up the MALFEASANCE, fraud and misconduct by his BAR Associates.
    Iowa Court of Appeals “judges” Christopher McDonald, Mary Tabor, other, Refused and neglected to Render the REQUIRED FINDINGS OF FACTS AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW on the issues raised.
    The IOWA STATE BAR, DBA IOWA SUPREME COURT Denied Further Review, further defrauding taxpayers of honest government services and causing harm to an innocent young man, scarring him for life.
    For Exposing the fraud, Walton and IOWA STATE BAR, used a tactic from Saul Alinsky’s RULES FOR RADICALS, fabricating a charge of JURY TAMPERING against me, Greg’s father and Whistle-Blower: “Accuse the Whistle-Blower of what you are doing, to create confusion and inculcate JURISTS against evidence of your own guilt.”
    These BAR associates TAMPERED with the JURY by planting IOWA SUPREME COURT JUSTICE TOM WATERMAN’S corporate board member TATE FEATHERSTONE in Greg’s jury. I had no attorney and no peer in my jury. Ada ROBERT CUSACK tampered with evidence, had no witness with direct knowledge of fact or evidence…Sheriff deputy Tim Ells proved to be incompetent and dishonest and lacked Standing. “Trial judge” Paul MACEK refused to Rule on my Motion to Dismiss for Ells’ lack of Standing. MACEK vacated the bench after the “trial” despite having four years remaining on his term. WHY ??? Again, TOM MILKER took another three extensions of time on appeal 17-1333…and the same systemic fraud continues all the way up to the Chief “judge” Jarvey, 8th Cir. CT. Appls. Who opined that Federal Courts lack jurisdiction over Constitutional Violations and Fraud by STATE COURTS (19-3404).
    MSM is too busy pushing the COVID HOAX when the Real Epidemic is the Judicial Fraud and the Global Paedophile Elites like Jeffrey Epstein.

  2. Jeff Anderson says:

    These cases are with dna evidence.
    Many more are without dna evidence.
    Such as my own personal exoerience
    in 1985.
    Yes I was offered three plea bargains
    which I declined. I went through the
    whole jury trial.
    I was charged at first with five major
    serious felonies. Three were dropped easily before the bargain offers. I was never charged with the genuine motove for the crime, which was “attempted robbery”. It was a 24 hour conveniance store. The camera was not operating. Two witnesses stated it was not me who was seen fleeing the scene. And more I could say. No physical evidence.
    Tried on two counts, I had a hung-jury on one at least. They were forced to find me guilty on a lesser charge of intent to committ rape, not the full raoe as charged. Their claims were proved wrong right there. The doctor said no rape was evidenced.
    It was an assault after the fact of a failed attempted robbery. Why was this suppressed during trial. The whole thing was illustrated yet sonehow under or over looked.
    I am sure the assault was only for the suspect strategy to protect his identity. It worked for him, he was never caught.

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