New research suggests a lack of oversight and consequence for prosecutorial error and misconduct. The research, detailed here, conducted by the Veritas Initiative—the prosecutorial accountability program of the Northern California Innocence Project—was released yesterday at a University of Texas Law School forum.
From 2004-2008 Texas prosecutors committed error in 91 cases documented in published trial and appellate court decisions. The courts “upheld the conviction in 72 of the cases, finding that the error was ‘harmless.’ In 19 of the cases, the court ruled that the error was ‘harmful’ and reversed the conviction.” From “2004 until November 2011, only one prosecutor was publicly disciplined by the Texas Bar Association.” Austin was the second stop of a national (United States) tour focusing on prosecutorial accountability organized by the Prosecutorial Oversight coalition.
A man was given probation and a lifetime requirement to register as a sex offender in Bexar County Texas on February 28, 2012. He had 2 accusers who were cousins, their mothers are sisters. Between the 2 cousins and both mothers, they have accused 14 people of molesting them. They have a distinct pattern of accusing 2 at a time with 2 or 3 victims. They have accused other cousins, grandfather, fathers, fathers best friend, ex-boyfriends, ex-husbands, husband, neighbor, 2 children ages 10 and 11 attending same daycare. The prosecution was made aware of this pattern and would not drop the charges. The man was looking at a possible life sentence had the jury found him guilty. He remained in jail for over 3 years, and at the time for trial, prosecutors offered probation and he took it out of fear going to a jury trial would send him to prison.
I am convinced these woman and their other family members have accused others, and probably many more. Each accusation or case is extremely hard to find.