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Prosecutorial Misconduct

An Innocent Prisoner's Will To Be Free

Lorenzo Johnson | Posted 08.15.2016 | Crime
Lorenzo Johnson

After sixteen and a half years in prison for a crime I was innocent of, the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals vacated my sentence on the grounds of insufficient evidence--which is equivalent to a "not guilty" verdict--and ordered my immediate release, barring a retrial. I was released and reunited with my family.

Speaking at Harvard Law, "Making a Murderer" Attorney Dean Strang Highlights Our Troubling Rate of Wrongful Convictions--and Suggests a Solution

Michael Shammas | Posted 07.12.2016 | Crime
Michael Shammas

The vast majority of prosecutors are true professionals, keenly aware of their immense power and its consequent responsibility. They form accurate conclusions on guilt far more often than the converse. Still, cognitive bias and overconfidence touch us all.

When Courts Are Used As A Weapon Against The Innocent

Lorenzo Johnson | Posted 07.12.2016 | Crime
Lorenzo Johnson

A courtroom is a place where justice is supposed to be served. More and more, however, courts are becoming crime scenes -- here, innocent people are being kidnapped and held captive.

Judge Drops Ball in "Grid Kid Slaying" Case

Bennett L. Gershman | Posted 06.15.2016 | Crime
Bennett L. Gershman

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.

Is There a Cure for Wrongful Convictions?

Lorenzo Johnson | Posted 05.27.2016 | Crime
Lorenzo Johnson

Our criminal justice system continues to fail innocent prisoners because of the structures and statutes that legislators refuse to change.

What The Chandra Levy Retrial Teaches Us About Defendants' Rights

David Benowitz | Posted 05.27.2016 | DC
David Benowitz

What's interesting about this decision, however, isn't just the re-opening of one of the most widely covered criminal cases of the past 50 years--it's the opportunity to cast light on how the prosecution's conduct deprived Mr. Guandique of his constitutional rights.

Correcting Prosecutorial Misconduct and Judicial Error in Louisiana

Bennett L. Gershman | Posted 05.20.2016 | Crime
Bennett L. Gershman

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 Death Penalty in America Today

Johanna Wald | Posted 05.20.2016 | Crime
Johanna Wald

Last week's news told us everything we need to know about the death penalty in America today. On Thursday, May 12, in Alabama, the scheduled executi...

Rensselaer D.A. Should Be Punished for Trying to Sabotage Police Shooting Investigation

Bennett L. Gershman | Posted 05.04.2016 | New York
Bennett L. Gershman

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.

The Laws that Betrayed Their Makers: Why Mandatory Minimums Still Exist

Amos Irwin | Posted 05.03.2016 | Politics
Amos Irwin

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.

Tricks Prosecutors Play: Manipulating the "Golden Rule" by Channeling

Bennett L. Gershman | Posted 04.27.2016 | Crime
Bennett L. Gershman

It's fascinating to watch some prosecutors engage in over-the-top courtroom oratory -- shameless, inflammatory and insidious. It could be dark comedy if the stakes weren't so serious. Prosecutors love to play to the jury, and juries typically eat it up.

Bill Clinton's Other Terrible Crime Bill

Lorenzo Johnson | Posted 04.21.2016 | Crime
Lorenzo Johnson

Election time is here, and prison reform is now a hot topic. Much of the focus recently has been on the crime bill that then-President Bill Clinton si...

Stolen Lives: Oppressed, Exploited, and Innocent in Prison

Lorenzo Johnson | Posted 03.31.2016 | Crime
Lorenzo Johnson

Judge H. Lee Sarokin wrote: "The Guilty Have a Better Chance for Parole or Pardon Than the Innocent." As an innocent prisoner, I've witnessed this myself for the last two decades (and counting). The only thing that has changed over time is that more and more corruption is being exposed. The

Why Prosecutors Across The Country Are Finally Losing Elections

The Huffington Post | Kim Bellware | Posted 03.31.2016 | Politics

District attorney seats have been among the safest in local elections. Recent incumbent prosecutors' election losses suggest a tough-on-crime approa...

Experts: OC Cases That Used Jailhouse Snitch Evidence Must Be Re-Examined

The Huffington Post | Matt Ferner | Posted 03.28.2016 | Politics

The Orange County District Attorney's office is facing allegations that it illegally obtained and withheld evidence gathered through a jailhouse infor...

A Judge Just Publicly Called Out Prosecutors Who He Thinks May Have Cheated

The Huffington Post | Matt Ferner | Posted 03.25.2016 | Politics

• A U.S. Circuit judge named prosecutors in Washington state who he believes violated a defendant's rights.• Prosecutors who engage in misconduct ...

Where Were the Prosecutors?

Bennett L. Gershman | Posted 03.17.2016 | Crime
Bennett L. Gershman

The close to 2,000 exonerations, and the thousands of other innocent defendants who may be in jails around the country, tell an unsettling story about some prosecutors.

Defense Attorney Says He Was Savagely Beaten By An Employee Of Orange County DA's Office

The Huffington Post | Matt Ferner | Posted 03.15.2016 | Politics

ORANGE, Calif. -- A criminal defense attorney in Orange County, California, claims that an investigator working for Orange County's beleaguered Distri...

How Faulty Convictions Are Hurting All Californians

The Huffington Post | Matt Ferner | Posted 03.09.2016 | Politics

LOS ANGELES -- California has squandered hundreds of millions of tax dollars on faulty convictions that have led to people collectively wasting hundre...

The Next Supreme Court Nominee: Can We Retreat From the Creation of the Invincible Prosecutor?

Bidish Sarma | Posted 03.02.2016 | Politics
Bidish Sarma

If he truly values someone's experiences and ability to see how the Court's opinions affect people's daily lives, President Obama should nominate someone who will, among other things, take prosecutorial accountability seriously.

A Perfect Storm: Judicial Bias, Prosecutorial Misconduct, and a Death Sentence

Bennett L. Gershman | Posted 02.25.2016 | Crime
Bennett L. Gershman

Next Monday, the Supreme Court will consider whether the constitution is violated if the chief judge on the highest court of the state refuses to disq...

Sex, Lies, and Wrongful Conviction: Kathleen Kane's Other Scandal

Lorenzo Johnson | Posted 02.11.2016 | Crime
Lorenzo Johnson

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.

Our Judicial System: Ignoring Injustice or Colluding in It?

Lorenzo Johnson | Posted 01.18.2016 | Crime
Lorenzo Johnson

Prosecutors have the power to prevent almost all wrongful convictions by seeking the truth, not just a conviction. If the pursuit of justice were the only goal, innocent men and women would not find themselves collateral casualties.

When Officers of the Court Go Wrong

Lorenzo Johnson | Posted 12.28.2015 | Crime
Lorenzo Johnson

The same power dynamic seen in the Holtzclaw case allows police to coerce false testimony and secure wrongful convictions. At the end of the day, there are so many victims.

The Giuca Case, and the Prosecutor's Willful Blindness to the Truth

Bennett L. Gershman | Posted 12.11.2015 | Crime
Bennett L. Gershman

It was a sensational New York murder trial - the Grid Kid Slaying - in which two young men, John Giuca and Antonio Russo, alleged members of a Brookl...