I am not an attorney, but in my layman’s, non-legal opinion this is potentially (and I say only potentially) huge.
The US Ninth Circuit has advocated criminal perjury prosecution for a prosecutor who lied to the court. See our previous post about lying federal prosecutors here – in this case, the offending prosecutor got off with just a stern rebuke by the judge, which is sadly typical.
The Ninth Circuit has “recommended” perjury prosecution for a prosecutor who lied about benefits offered to a jailhouse snitch for his testimony. Incentivizing testimony from snitches is nothing new. It happens routinely. But think about this. If a defense attorney offered benefits to a witness for their testimony, it would be bribery, and the attorney could be prosecuted. If a prosecutor offers benefits to a witness (snitch), it’s called “cooperation.” What’s wrong with this picture?!
Now, here’s the “catch” about the recent Ninth Circuit lying prosecutor incident. The case involves a prosecutor who lied while testifying under oath. So, the big question in regard to this is – what happens if a prosecutor lies in court at times when he’s not actually testifying under oath? As I said, I’m not an attorney, but one would think that, logically, lying in any capacity in any court proceeding would be considered perjury, but ….. sadly, “the law is not always logical, but the law is always the law.”
See the full Observer story on the Ninth Circuit action here.
Update: Must-watch video! 9th Cir. “U.S. judges see ‘epidemic’ of prosecutorial misconduct in state (CA)” – LA Times 2/01/15
“Federal judges called upon state Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris to respond to reports of a pattern of prosecutorial misconduct going undisciplined in state courts.” (Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press)
Reblogged this on Citizens, not serfs.
Reblogged this on FORENSICS in FOCUS @ CSIDDS | News and Trends and commented:
Followup discussion on prosectors losing their moral compass in criminal courts. Its very rare for the courts to enforce penalties on District Attorneys. The Bar Associations certainly don’t care.
This prosecutor lied while testifying, so may not be immune.
Dead or SEVERELY</b disabled prosecutors are unable to continue lying ‼
The difficult problem is for the death or disability to be legal •
Thanks, Jim 🙂
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addressing: what happens if a prosecutor lies in court at times when he’s not actually testifying under oath? I think that is guilty of Subordination of Perjury – In legal practice, the condition of suborning perjury applies to a lawyer who presents either testimony or an affidavit, or both, either to a judge or to a jury, which the attorney knows to be materially false, and not factual. In civil law and in criminal law, the attorney’s knowledge that the testimony is materially false must rise above mere suspicion to what an attorney would reasonably have believed in the circumstances of the matter discussed in the testimony. Hence, the attorney cannot be wilfully blind to the fact that his or her witness is giving false, perjurious testimony.