Once again, John Giuca's bid for a new, and much fairer, trial than he had in Brooklyn ten years ago has been frustrated after an evidentiary hearing in which the prosecution's star witness admitted he lied at Giuca's trial and the prosecution's misconduct was further exposed as a brazen effort to hide the truth from the jury.
It seems incontestable that Louisiana's criminal justice system is in a state of collapse. The state judiciary appears to be oblivious to violations of the constitutional rights of criminal defendants; prosecutors continue to violate the rights of accused with impunity, especially by suppressing exculpatory evidence; public defenders are so overwhelmed by huge caseloads they have refused to take new cases; and the state prisons have the highest incarceration rate in the nation.
The best example of why local prosecutors cannot be trusted to investigate police shootings of civilians is the conduct of Rensselaer District Attorney Joel Abelove, who recklessly and unlawfully has tried to prevent a fair and thorough investigation into a fatal police shooting of an unarmed civilian.
There are two problems with threatening long sentences to extract cooperation from low-level drug offenders. This strategy is ineffective in impacting the drug trade. It also inflicts immense collateral damage on innocent people and low-level offenders, while letting the guiltiest offenders off more easily.
When prosecutors and judges feel comfortable sending each other racist and sexually explicit emails for fun, something is wrong. This same cozy and corrupt system allowed my innocence to be swept under the rug for years. It's time for accountability and justice for me and so many others who have suffered from wrongful convictions.
Prosecutors increasingly use technology in the courtroom to win convictions. One of the most persuasive, and insidious techniques to get juries to convict is to use a Power Point presentation during the closing argument to visually depict inflammatory images of the crime emblazoned with the prosecutor's equally inflammatory captions.