Loaded on NOV. 16, 2017 by Matthew Clarke published in Criminal Legal News December 2017, page 21
The title is a recent article published in Criminal Legal News and exposes what many may not know about the legal system.
In the past, prosecutorial misconduct, like altering or intentionally withholding evidence that could help exonerate a defendant, went unreported by the courts despite having a statutory obligation to do so. Prosecutors deny that it ever occurred, and the State Bar almost never disciplines for it. The new law was passed after legislatures heard so many stories from those who had been wrongly convicted, and all because some of those elected to office don’t believe the law applies to them.
“When a prosecutor intentionally withholds exculpatory evidence, an unknowing and innocent defendant can be convicted, sentenced, and incarcerated for a long time,” according to California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, a group of criminal defense attorneys that supported the bill. No, this doesn’t mean that prosecutors will be prosecuted for hiding evidence that could make the difference in cases, but it does help the public better understand that not all those they elect will serve their best interests.
It is my hope that other state’s, including Arkansas, will follow suit in actually seeking to create what the Constitution calls for: equal justice under the law. If a prosecuting attorney has to hide evidence of that might aid the defense, then what is the purpose of discovery to begin with. One must ask themselves at some point if all these men are being found innocent or even guilty of lesser degree charges, then what is the driving force behind PA’s that push for charges that lack the elements the law calls for them to contain.
It is also my hope that someday we as a country will seek to prosecute those that misrepresent the law and people with the same determination as those they seek to punish to the fullest. A prosecutor has a duty to the truth, and when they set that duty aside for corrupt purposes or divided loyalties then they should be removed from office. Know that if a prosecutor will hide evidence to gain a conviction against any man or woman, then they show that the will of the people has been forgotten for their own agenda.
If you need to see what impact prosecutor misconduct can have, we ask you to read our court filings and see for yourself. With Roy Moore filling the news reports with his history of abusing his power and influence, we all should demand accountability for all those that claim to fight for the truth.
Thanks for reading,