Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Who Polices Prosecutors Who Abuse Their Authority? Usually Nobody

Berrien County Prosecutor Mike Sepic colluded with Judge Sterling Schrock to violate Rev. Pinkney's constitutional rights at trial. Rev. Pinkney has been protesting prosecutorial misconduct in many defendants' cases for years. And it's not just Berrien County where prosecutors get away with breaking the law and violating rights of defendants. It's everywhere across the country.

Here are some recent articles and reports on the growing national conversation about prosecutorial misconduct.
" A ProPublica analysis of more than a decade's worth of state and federal court rulings found more than two dozen instances in which judges explicitly concluded that city prosecutors had committed harmful misconduct. In each instance, these abuses were sufficient to prompt courts to throw out convictions.

Yet the same appellate courts did not routinely refer prosecutors for investigation by the state disciplinary committees charged with policing lawyers. Disciplinary committees, an arm of the appellate courts, almost never took serious action against prosecutors. None of the prosecutors who oversaw cases reversed based on misconduct were disbarred, suspended, or censured except for Stuart. (Stuart declined repeated requests for an interview for this story.)

Nor were any but Stuart punished by their superiors in the city's district attorney offices. In fact, personnel records obtained by ProPublica show, several received promotions and raises soon after courts cited them for abuses."
"Johnson remains in prison even after the prosecutor, who handled his case and lied to a judge in an effort to convict him of murder, has been exposed and disgraced."