You see, during a criminal prosecution, the one thing you must never, ever do, is make a judge angry by telling them lies, especially if you are the prosecutor or police.
Because, while the defense attorney is charged with zealously representing the interests of his client, the prosecutor is held to a higher standard. He or she is not there simply to collect convictions. As important as that is, the prosecutor, as representative of the people, is there to see that justice is done.
That means that if after thousands of dollars of taxpayer money have been expended by police investigators and the prosecutor’s office, if they uncover evidence that related to the person being investigated that tends to show that they did not commit the crime, the prosecutor has a duty to turn that evidence over to the defense.
If the evidence is overwhelming that the party charged did not commit the crime, then they should dismiss the charges.
But it appears in this case that the behavior on the part of these two elements of the criminal justice system had grown so dysfunctional, so at odds to their essential roles, and so invested in their role of securing convictions at any price, that they hid any exculpatory evidence they found and used snitches to obtain “confessions.”
The judge found that the prosecutor had engineered a “special” inmate to be placed in the cell next to an inmate who was facing the death penalty for multiple murders. Two officers and a prosecutor provided false testimony concerning the placement.
The judge finally disqualified the entire prosecutor’s office because they hid exculpatory evidence and then attempted to cover it up.
And according to one commentator, the only thing exceptional about this case involving the prosecutor’s office and sheriff’s department is that their illegal conduct was uncovered. When generating convictions supersedes ensuring that justice is done, the liberty of every American is diminished.
Slate.com, “You’re All Out,” Dahlia Lithwick, May 28, 2015