When Prosecutors Can’t be Bothered With Innocence

An insightful article by Radley Balko, writing for the Washington Post.

From the article:

“That they (the two prosecutors cited in the article) have yet to be sanctioned or disciplined by a court or state bar speaks volumes about the legal profession’s ability to police itself. That they continue to be reelected is more evidence that the criminal justice reform movement should get more directly involved in electoral politics.”

6 responses to “When Prosecutors Can’t be Bothered With Innocence

  1. “Never Trust a Prosecutor” by William Anderson – LewRockwell.com Sept. 2015 http://bit.ly/1Mo136d

    “Although Craft’s ordeal officially began in 2008, it really started in 1974 with the passage of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, better known as the Mondale Act. Written to deal with what Sen. Walter Mondale of Minnesota was a “growing epidemic” of child physical and sexual abuse, the new federal law promised millions of dollars to states and localities to prosecute accused child abusers and to create and empower agencies like Children’s Protective Services that had the authority to remove children from homes where they were allegedly being abused.

    The law also had one important string tied to disbursement of federal money: state law no longer could require corroborating evidence in order to convict someone of child abuse or forms of child sexual abuse, molestation, and sexual assault. Instead, an accusation by itself was all that was needed for someone to be convicted. This turned the entire premise of “innocent until proven guilty” on its head, forcing the defendant to do the impossible: prove a negative. Like so many other federal laws created to “solve” crises that perhaps were not crises in the first place, the Mondale Act was soon found to have numerous perverse incentives, and those incentives led to events that would had appalling consequences in the lives of innocent people.”

    • cont. …”But the second thing one takes away is that for an innocent person falsely accused, there can be life after the ordeal. There is a saying that “the best revenge is living well,” and if that is true, then Tonya Craft has had her revenge fourfold. The book presents that picture, and being one who knows her and her friends, I can say that Tonya has been living well.

      Since then, she has finished three years of a four-year law program and this past summer worked in the office of the district attorney in Hamilton County, Tennessee. That the DA of a county contiguous to the LMJC would have Craft on board and who had her scrutinizing cases involving alleged child sexual abuse tells us volumes about how people there view the situation. Tonya Craft was not only “not guilty,” she was innocent of the charges. Not only did the “evidence” – or lack, thereof – demonstrate that fact, but also how she has chosen to live her life since May 12, 2010.”

  2. Why Won’t Prosecutors Make Amends for Flawed Investigations? – The Atlantic April 18, 2012 http://theatln.tc/1LoxgJW

    “Finally, a legal scandal we all can agree upon, one that transcends three consecutive federal administrations and involves sins of commission or omission at virtually every level of the criminal justice system. It is a scandal that erodes a cornerstone of that system: the notion that prosecutors and the police have ethical responsibilities, if not legal duties, to ensure that innocent people are not wrongfully convicted and locked away in prison. And it’s a scandal that requires a much more meaningful response from those federal and state authorities who are today responsible for such ongoing injustices all across the country.”

  3. “Want to end mass incarceration? Stop blindly reelecting your local prosecutor.” – Vox Sept. 2015 http://bit.ly/1KeZMMg

    “Despite all of these powers, voters and lawmakers very rarely force prosecutors to answer for their records — even as they play a key role in perpetuating the kind of mass incarceration that criminal justice reformers now want to end.”

  4. Prosecutors can’t be bothered with innocence when it goes against their agenda for the easiest conviction. ADA now Judge Renee Dupuis did this when the one telling the truth stuck with the truth and the neglectful mother offered to change her story. During the investigation when evidence was brought to light CLEARY implicating the mother, well then it must be buried so as not to foil the ADA’s agenda.

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