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Over the last two years, a scandal involving both has engulfed Orange County, California, exposing systemic violation of defendants’ constitutional rights and calling into question the legality of the prosecution of a number of violent felony cases. In 1982, in Newport News, VA, a young man in a sailor's uniform broke into a local home, beat a man to death, then spent hours raping his wife while their three small children slept in the next room.What makes the Orange County situation particularly troubling is its eerie similarity to another such scandal that unfolded just miles to the north, in Los Angeles County, starting in the late 1970s, and culminated in an exhaustive grand jury report that detailed widespread misuse and abuse of criminal informants and revealed questionable prosecutorial tactics, potentially in more than 200 cases. Keith Harward was convicted based on bite mark evidence sworn to by two dentists, and his identification by a security guard who police had hypnotized first.
According to the National Registry of Exonerations, since 1989 there have been 923 exonerations tied to official misconduct by prosecutors, police, or other government officials, 89 of them in cases involving the use of jailhouse snitches.And when she tried to tell an assistant district attorney, Debra L. ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms) agents use rogue tactics in storefront stings across the United States.Pomodore, that she could not identify the gunman, she said Ms. Among other tactics, ATF agents used mentally disabled persons to "drum up business," opened drug and gun buying operations next to churches and schools, and encouraged burglary and theft with fake pawn shops that paid sky-high prices for stolen weapons. Just last year, a federal judge cited prosecutorial and police misconduct in tossing out the conviction of Michael Wayne Hash, prompting Commonwealth’s Attorney Gary Close to resign out of concern that he had become a distraction to law enforcement. The good ol' boys are out to get the new prosecutor.of Criminal Investigation and prosecutor Ken Kratz that reminds one of turning on a light and seeing roaches scramble for cover. These tactics worked in neighboring Outagamie County (Appleton) where Ken Hudson was convicted of murdering a jogger with a knife purchased a day later by police. Of all the shockers in the film , the most disturbing was Calumet County District Attorney Ken Kratz's press conference on March 2, 2006. "The entire [Avery] family is socially accused: outsiders, troublemakers, feisty, and a little dim.Those guys were lauded as heroes, for fitting up two people with limited intelligence, by planting evidence and spoon feeding a confession not supported by evidence to a special needs kid. Hudson said the cops poured a bright red substance on him as he sat in the squad car. What one hears amid the chorus of accusers is the malice of the village.The senior Morgan insured and killed two more people before he got caught, and he was still not charged in one of those murders.
And Tyrone Hood, a family man who did nothing wrong, is still in prison. The Cook County DA is not concerned with innocence or guilt, but asks only, ‘How is this going to wash politically?
It is rarer still for justices – usually in the state Supreme Court or appellate court – to reverse convictions because of misconduct. Michael Darnell Harris, now 53, has been behind bars for 33 years on four murder convictions in Detroit, Michigan.
But a new study by Harvard Law School’s Fair Punishment Project shows Southern California ranks high in reversals in which misconduct by a prosecutor played a factor. Leon Cannizzaro refuses to acknowledge either his innocence or the gross misconduct of the police and prosecutors who put him in prison. Harris was convicted of the 1981 murder of 77-year-old Ula Curdy in 1983.
Disciplining or firing miscreants may be necessary, but it's not enough: It doesn't address the root causes of fearful culture and bad incentives.
A USA TODAY investigation documented 201 criminal cases across the nation in which federal judges found that prosecutors broke the rules.
UPDATE: August 4, 2014 - Cook County DA Anita Alvarez is long on talk but short on remedy with her "Conviction Integrity Unit." A year after Alvarez formed the Conviction Integrity Unit, Papa went before a judge to share its findings on Hood. ’ Journalist Nicholas Schmidle has conducted a better investigation than the Chicago cops or Cook County prosecutors. The Phoenix Fire Department's elite fire investigations unit, once lauded as the most successful arson squad in the country, is being investigated for allegations of misconduct. Following a stunning admission of intentional abuse decades ago at the hands of prosecutors — including one who became a judge and then landed in federal prison for his role in a judicial corruption scandal that rocked the Jefferson Parish courthouse — Reginald Adams walked free on May 12, 2014, exonerated after 34 years behind bars on a murder rap.