A special investigation has been convened to decide whether a former prosecutor, who is now a judge, hid evidence in a trial in which a man was wrongly convicted of his wife's murder and sent to prison for almost 25 years.
When there is publicity associated with a criminal prosecution, the ability for jurors, judges, and prosecutors and yes, sometimes even defense lawyers, to presume innocence becomes even more circumscribed.
The important lesson for all is that "winning" is not the only thing. Winning is the outcome of superior products and services in the business context. Winning in law should mean that justice under law is served.
Wrongful convictions have ruined lives and wasted tax dollars. They represent a shameful and reprehensible miscarriage of justice. But a measure of accountability can still be salvaged, even decades after the fact.
Why should a person who has been wrongly convicted, declared innocent, acquitted and exonerated have to prove anything in order to be compensated? Every state should have mandatory compensation in all such cases.
The answer all too often is coercion, intimidation, deceit and trickery. All of those techniques were employed to obtain the conviction of four innocent sailors for the rape and murder of a woman in Norfolk, Virginia.
The prosecutorial misconduct in the Blackwater case goes to the heart of a nationwide problem. In the face of enormous pressure to obtain convictions, prosecutors at the state and federal level all too often abuse their power.
Prosecutors are the most powerful actors in our criminal justice system. Failure to respond to abuses of power is an enormous threat to public safety and to the integrity of our criminal justice system.