Can bar associations rein in prosecutors who cheat?

If prosecutors can’t be sued personally and the U.S. Supreme Court says their offices can’t be sued either, what do you do about prosecutors who cheat and lie to win a conviction?

Emily Bazelon tells here about how some attorneys are starting to file complaints against cheating prosecutors with state bar associations, claiming they’ve violated ethics rules. Two pending complaints in New Orleans, a hotbed of prosecutorial misconduct, could reveal whether this approach has merit.

3 responses to “Can bar associations rein in prosecutors who cheat?

  1. Docile Jim Brady – Columbus OH 43209

    Operation Heydrich would discourage most prosecutors from lying and cheating .

    Nice write , Martin.

  2. Maricopa County DA Fights Changes to Bar Rules that Would Address Wrongful Convictions | The Open File Aug. 07, 2013

    “We continue yesterday’s theme with a report today that the Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery is opposing changes to the Arizona state bar rules that would require prosecutors to disclose new evidence that suggests a defendant was wrongfully convicted and follow up that disclosure with an investigation.Stephen Lemons at the Phoenix New Times reports that Montgomery opposes the addition of a provision to the state bar rules that would echo the American Bar Association’s Ethical Rule 3.8. The rule suggests that when new, credible and material evidence is found in a case, the prosecuting agency has an obligation to disclose that evidence to the defendant and then investigate whether a wrongful conviction has occurred.

    The Arizona Justice Project has been pushing the amendment for two years.According to Lemons, Montgomery’s first assistant told the Arizona Supreme Court that such a change would be “confusing and burdensome” and that there is “no convincing evidence that Arizona has a ‘problem’ of wrongful convictions” or that “prosecutors have failed to take corrective action when appropriate.

    ”We wrote yesterday that Debra Milke’s lawyer has filed a motion to disqualify Montgomery’s office from prosecuting her case following the 9th Circuit’s decision to vacate her capital murder conviction earlier this year. Milke’s lawyer cites a conflict of interest, saying that Montgomery has political and financial motivations to win a conviction against Milke that conflict with his office’s duty to pursue the interests of justice.” …

  3. Update 3/16/15: AZ: Debra Milke suing Maricopa County – 3/16/15 | Courthouse News Service

    PHOENIX (CN) – “A woman spent 22 years on Arizona’s Death Row for the murder of her 4-year-old son after a Phoenix detective with a history of coercing confessions fabricated her confession, she claims in court.
    Debra Milke sued Phoenix, Maricopa County, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, Det. Armando Saldate and 12 other officials, on March 13 in Federal Court.

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