Center for Prosecutor Integrity to Establish ‘Registry of Prosecutorial Misconduct’

This (in my opinion) is huge.  By now, you’re probably familiar with the National Registry of Exonerations which has established a mechanism for collecting and documenting data about wrongful convictions across the US.  To date, it has logged data on 1,250 exonerations.  The registry will be a very powerful tool for justice system reform and improvement, because it provides incontrovertible, hard data that can be used to make known and describe the errors that can, and do, happen in this very imperfect system of ours.

Data from the National Registry of Exonerations has already revealed that “official misconduct” (by both police and prosecutors) is a contributing factor in 42% of wrongful convictions.  In a previous WCB post, Prosecutorial Misconduct – What’s to be Done?  A Call to Action, it was pointed out that one of the very first things needed to begin addressing the prosecutorial misconduct cause of wrongful convictions is DATA.  We know that prosecutorial misconduct happens, but our understanding of the problem, and its extent, has been only anecdotal up until now.  This new Registry of Prosecutorial Misconduct is a significant step forward in building a base of data that can be used by legislators, policy makers, and advocates in defining and implementing necessary changes to the laws and rules that govern prosecutorial behavior.

The press release from the Center for Prosecutor Integrity follows:

PRESS RELEASE

Contact: Teri Stoddard,  Email: tstoddard@prosecutorintegrity.org

CPI to Establish Registry of Prosecutorial Misconduct

WASHINGTON / November 20, 2013 – The Center for Prosecutor Integrity has recently received a grant to establish a Registry of Prosecutorial Misconduct. The Registry will eventually catalog thousands of cases of prosecutorial misconduct around the country. This information will allow policymakers to pinpoint priorities for reform.

 The Registry will report the prosecutor’s jurisdiction, type of crime, type of misconduct, whether the case was referred to an ethics oversight body, whether sanctions were imposed, and other information.

Determinations of misconduct will be based on holdings of trial courts, appellate courts, state supreme courts, and legal disciplinary committees.

Registry cases will be identified by means of legal database searches, media reports, and other sources. Interested parties are welcome to submit cases for consideration:registry@prosecutorintegrity.org .

The Registry is intended for use by researchers, lawmakers, ethical oversight boards, and other stakeholders in the criminal justice system. The Registry’s database will be accessible through an online user interface.

“Over the last decade, the American public has become disburbed about prosecutors who ignore ethical standards in a head-long rush to convict,” notes CPI spokesperson Sheryl Hutter. “Now, advocates of reform will be able to identify patterns, assess trends, and compare jurisdictions.”

According to the National Registry of Exonerations, 42% of wrongful convictions arise from misconduct by prosecutors and other government officials.

The Center for Prosecutor Integrity is working to preserve the presumption of innocence, assure equal treatment under law, and bring an end to wrongful convictions through the enhancement of prosecutorial ethics: www.prosecutorintegrity.org

7 responses to “Center for Prosecutor Integrity to Establish ‘Registry of Prosecutorial Misconduct’

  1. Mr. Locke, Excellent article! Your diligent work is moving things forward with meaningful action.

  2. Pingback: Prosecutor misconduct data bank | Court-Martial Trial Practice

  3. I want to see what kind of help i can get towards the help of my little brother here Indiana that has been convicted of murder only because a hat that had his dna and 4 other peoples dn Left at the victims hoise in which .my brother was his friend! If you would like to hear more please contact me!

  4. This is an excellent idea. I think this is badly needed.
    The examples I have come across looking at a few cases are stunning.
    I started a registry for “Live” cases : that is cases where there is not yet any exoneration, but someone in the community claims a possible wrongful conviction.

    https://www.facebook.com/WronglyConvictedRegistry

    Since November 5th, about 100 cases have already been posted.
    I believe they are all credible, I have yet to see an instance of someone posting a case where a conviction looks safe.

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  6. Reblogged this on Wobbly Warrior's Blog and commented:
    This (in my opinion) is cruel, and corrupt. A 1989 start date for a National Registry of Exonerations insults every woman and man exonerated prior to that date, including recently deceased Delbert Tibbs. The 1989 start date also serves to hide serial prosecutorial misconduct, like that in Brevard/Seminole, Florida. Juan Ramos’ 1987 exoneration is directly linked to Wilton Dedge and William’s Dillon’s exonerations (2004 & 2008, respectively) as well as Gary Bennett’s directly linked continued incarceration and Gerald Stano’s directly linked execution (1998).

  7. One gaping hole in the innocence project is the right to a death investigation and oversight of the coroner/medical examiner system that controls it without any regulation or independent oversight. Their wrong diagnosis, let stand, will convict an innocent person while the real perp goes free to murder or rape again.

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