Category Archives: Prosecutorial conduct (good and bad)

Thursday’s Quick Clicks…

Marissa Alexander Out of Prison – But It’s Not Over

We’ve previously reported on the Marissa Alexander case here.

This is one of the stupidest prosecutions I’ve seen in my years of doing this.  Angela Corey, the Florida State’s Attorney in the case, should be ashamed for setting such a shining example of prosecutors run amok.

Marissa fired a warning shot at her enraged and abusive husband, who had threatened to kill her, in fear for her life.  She was charged, tried and, despite the fact that Florida has it’s infamous “stand your ground” law, was convicted and originally sentenced to 20 years. She successfully appealed, and was facing a new trial — with a potential 60 year sentence.

Please see the Daily Kos story here.

National Registry of Exonerations: 2014 was Record-breaking with 125 Exonerations in U.S.

For the first time, more than 100 exonerations were recorded in the United States in one year. According to The National Registry of Exonerations Report for 2014, 125 exonerations of innocent criminal defendants mark an increase of 34 over the prior record of 91 in 2012 and 91 again in 2013. The report notes the work of Conviction Integrity Units in the increase.

“The big story for the year is that more prosecutors are working hard to identify and investigate claims of innocence. And many more innocent defendants were exonerated after pleading guilty to crimes they did not commit,” said Michigan Law Professor Samuel Gross, editor of the National Registry of Exonerations and the author of the report.

Both the number of Conviction Integrity Units and the exonerations they produced increased in 2014. There were 49 CIU exonerations in 2014, including Continue reading

Another conviction reversed because of misleading PowerPoint images

Last month, this blog highlighted here a Marshall Project report on how prosecutors are winning convictions through the egregious misuse of PowerPoint presentations.

Now, the Marshall Project reports here the reversal of yet another conviction because of prosecutors’ use of inflammatory and misleading PowerPoint images during a trial. That brings the total of such reversals to 11, the Marshall Project says. There likely will be more.

Federal Judge Blasts Yet Another Federal Prosecutor for Lying to the Court

On a recent occasion, this was a federal judge to an Assistant US Attorney:

“You’re branded a liar, and you’ll remain a liar for the rest of your life.”

For the rest of the story … see the New York Observer story here.

Wednesday’s Quick Clicks…

Update on the National Registry of Exonerations

In case you haven’t been able to check in on the National Registry of Exonerations lately, here’s an excerpt from the most recent data.  Note the total is now up to 1,512, and the trend line is definitely UP.

exon dna non

exon cont fact

exon fact crime

I won’t belabor you by pointing out some of the more obvious observations.  Just a few minutes of study will (should) lead you to some very clear conclusions.

It has been reported that the folks at the Registry are hard at work trying to incorporate the exonerations being generated by the newly formed “conviction integrity units” (CIU’s).  For these cases the prosecutors running the CIU’s may not be very motivated to have their exonerations logged into the Registry.

I can’t gush enough about how critical and important this data is.  It is this kind of HARD DATA that will provide the foundation for much needed and long overdue justice system reform.