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Myguysinmoco 04-01-2012 01:51 PM

Prosecutorial misconduct
 
http://www.chron.com/news/kilday-har...ng-3445764.php


This article in the Houston Chronicle talks about prosecutorial misconduct, and the lack of discipline for it.

My husband's attorney recently told me that he has seen cases where a "victim" woman comes to the DA and tells them they lied for XYX (revenge, to gain custody in a divorce, among a few) reason and refuses to testify against the man, and the DA will still go forward and prosecute because the "win" means that much to them and their career. This attorney was, himself, a prosecutor for 20+ years before moving to the role of defense attorney, so I tend to believe him.

Just one more example of the mockery that is our justice system.

Firebrand 04-01-2012 03:07 PM

That’s a good article. Has a lot of truth in it that many are blind to. Thanks for sharing.

keith74mom 04-08-2012 08:22 PM

Thank you- it is difficult to understand why the people who are sworn by oath to uphold the law are not subject to it.



Quote:

Originally Posted by Myguysinmoco (Post 6682398)
http://www.chron.com/news/kilday-har...ng-3445764.php


This article in the Houston Chronicle talks about prosecutorial misconduct, and the lack of discipline for it.

My husband's attorney recently told me that he has seen cases where a "victim" woman comes to the DA and tells them they lied for XYX (revenge, to gain custody in a divorce, among a few) reason and refuses to testify against the man, and the DA will still go forward and prosecute because the "win" means that much to them and their career. This attorney was, himself, a prosecutor for 20+ years before moving to the role of defense attorney, so I tend to believe him.

Just one more example of the mockery that is our justice system.


rlwhitmore 04-08-2012 09:27 PM

It happens ALL THE TIME! Look at the DA's cases nearing elections! Amazing the cases won and the sentences doled out around then.

Myguysinmoco 04-09-2012 12:47 PM

One example of excused misconduct: Charles Sebesta was the DA in the case against Anthony Graves. Mr. Graves served something like 18 years on death row being falsely convicted before the Texas Innocence Project (among others) stepped in and investigated the case and won his freedom back. Mr. Sebesta withheld evidence that would have proven his innocence during the original trial and he also threatened the person who was set to testify that Mr. Graves was not the murderer, but instead with them at the time, right before they testified, causing them to flee the court house (he made her think she was going to be charged and locked up as well) and thereby not testify.

After all that time on death row, Mr. Graves received compensation from the state of Texas, although no amount of compensation could ever make up for all he lost in that time. No punishment came to Mr. Sebesta. Texas Monthly did an article on the Anthony Graves story, and while I don't have a link to it, I'm sure you can find plenty about the whole story online if interested.

CenTexLyn 04-09-2012 05:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rlwhitmore (Post 6694640)
It happens ALL THE TIME! Look at the DA's cases nearing elections! Amazing the cases won and the sentences doled out around then.

The plea offers possibly going up closer to election is NOT indicia of prosecutorial misconduct. Besides...if you don't like the offer, then don't take the plea and set it for trial.

The DA does NOT 'dole' out the sentence even in a case that is the subject of a negotiated plea- they may set the ground rules vis a vis the baseline term on the plea, but ultimately the Court still has to accept the plea (and some don't always accept a plea agreement). Further, if one goes to trial, the impact of the DA in the matter of sentencing is nowhere near what you appear to give it credit for...at that point, the sentence is up to the 12 in the box (unless one opted for bench trial, in which case the robed one is setting the number).

Isolated instances do not condemn an entire system...

Myguysinmoco 04-09-2012 10:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CenTexLyn (Post 6695907)
The plea offers possibly going up closer to election is NOT indicia of prosecutorial misconduct. Besides...if you don't like the offer, then don't take the plea and set it for trial.

The DA does NOT 'dole' out the sentence even in a case that is the subject of a negotiated plea- they may set the ground rules vis a vis the baseline term on the plea, but ultimately the Court still has to accept the plea (and some don't always accept a plea agreement). Further, if one goes to trial, the impact of the DA in the matter of sentencing is nowhere near what you appear to give it credit for...at that point, the sentence is up to the 12 in the box (unless one opted for bench trial, in which case the robed one is setting the number).

Isolated instances do not condemn an entire system...

Ultimately, it is a prosecutors job to seek justice and unfortunately most of society sees it as one side versus the other, like a poker game, winner take all. Sometimes a prosecutor needs to seek treatment for an accussed defendant or dismiss a case when evidence points to their innocence, we need more prosecutors who see their job as seekers of justice rathet then winning cases (i.e., getting convictions) as a way of building their popularity, climbing a carreer ladder, or furthering themselves in some way. Society needs to accept that its not a bad thing if a prosecutor chooses to dismiss a case or offer probation or treatment when it is the just thing to do. Many DA's have become politicians and left ethics behind.

rlwhitmore 04-14-2012 03:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CenTexLyn (Post 6695907)
The plea offers possibly going up closer to election is NOT indicia of prosecutorial misconduct. Besides...if you don't like the offer, then don't take the plea and set it for trial.

The DA does NOT 'dole' out the sentence even in a case that is the subject of a negotiated plea- they may set the ground rules vis a vis the baseline term on the plea, but ultimately the Court still has to accept the plea (and some don't always accept a plea agreement). Further, if one goes to trial, the impact of the DA in the matter of sentencing is nowhere near what you appear to give it credit for...at that point, the sentence is up to the 12 in the box (unless one opted for bench trial, in which case the robed one is setting the number).

Isolated instances do not condemn an entire system...



Only speaking from personal experience. That's the only experience I can truly speak of with any knowledge. As I have seen what goes on from both sides now...will never, EVER serve on another jury. And if you think the DA has no impact on sentencing....well, can only say you are mistaken...at least in this county!

CenTexLyn 04-14-2012 04:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rlwhitmore (Post 6705293)
Only speaking from personal experience. That's the only experience I can truly speak of with any knowledge. As I have seen what goes on from both sides now...will never, EVER serve on another jury. And if you think the DA has no impact on sentencing....well, can only say you are mistaken...at least in this county!

The DA is NOT in the room with the 12 who sat in the box and heard the evidence in a felony trial...and if someone does not like the offer given prior to trial (presuming there WAS an offer), then it is those 12 in the box making the decision...

And I dare say that I have seen MUCH more of the practices Statewide than most...not only in courtrooms (in both large and small Counties) and the appellate processes that may follow, but also inside the facilities and inside the decisioning-process once someone has been convicted and was being considered for a release.

I do find it ironic that you claim you would "never, EVER" sit on a jury despite the fact that doing so would be YOUR opportunity to impact at least that one particular case...

rlwhitmore 04-15-2012 06:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Myguysinmoco (Post 6696432)
Ultimately, it is a prosecutors job to seek justice and unfortunately most of society sees it as one side versus the other, like a poker game, winner take all. Sometimes a prosecutor needs to seek treatment for an accussed defendant or dismiss a case when evidence points to their innocence, we need more prosecutors who see their job as seekers of justice rathet then winning cases (i.e., getting convictions) as a way of building their popularity, climbing a carreer ladder, or furthering themselves in some way. Society needs to accept that its not a bad thing if a prosecutor chooses to dismiss a case or offer probation or treatment when it is the just thing to do. Many DA's have become politicians and left ethics behind.


Amen!

rlwhitmore 04-15-2012 06:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CenTexLyn (Post 6705383)
The DA is NOT in the room with the 12 who sat in the box and heard the evidence in a felony trial...and if someone does not like the offer given prior to trial (presuming there WAS an offer), then it is those 12 in the box making the decision...

And I dare say that I have seen MUCH more of the practices Statewide than most...not only in courtrooms (in both large and small Counties) and the appellate processes that may follow, but also inside the facilities and inside the decisioning-process once someone has been convicted and was being considered for a release.

I do find it ironic that you claim you would "never, EVER" sit on a jury despite the fact that doing so would be YOUR opportunity to impact at least that one particular case...



I will never sit on a jury again because I HAVE seen both sides and I now know that a jury does not have all the facts. I would be distressed that I was making a decision on less than all the facts. And, again, I'm sorry but the DA can, and does, affect the sentence. No, he may not be able to dole it out, but he can "advise" the court of what he would like. I'm not saying this is how it happens everywhere. As I said before, this just happens to be my own personal experience. Not enough justice....too much politics. In our case anyway.

CenTexLyn 04-15-2012 07:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rlwhitmore (Post 6707168)
I will never sit on a jury again because I HAVE seen both sides and I now know that a jury does not have all the facts. I would be distressed that I was making a decision on less than all the facts. And, again, I'm sorry but the DA can, and does, affect the sentence. No, he may not be able to dole it out, but he can "advise" the court of what he would like. I'm not saying this is how it happens everywhere. As I said before, this just happens to be my own personal experience. Not enough justice....too much politics. In our case anyway.

1) Few cases go to trial; most are pled out;
2) Defense counsel bears as much of a burden for what you claim is a short-coming in the way of information available to a jury if it is something that resulted in a finding of guilt;
3) Defense counsel ALSO gets to make a request as to punishment;
4) Defense counsel got to help write the very charge that went to the jury vis a vis the instructions from the Court prior to the jury retiring to deliberate on either guilt/innocence OR on the matter of punishment;
5) I re-urge my comment and opinion that isolated instances do not condemn an entire process.

RobinsMan 04-16-2012 11:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rlwhitmore (Post 6707168)
I will never sit on a jury again because I HAVE seen both sides and I now know that a jury does not have all the facts. I would be distressed that I was making a decision on less than all the facts. ...

I happen to agree that this is not a good reason to sit on the sideline. However, I do think that unreasoned bias, one way or the other, is.

RobinsMan 04-16-2012 12:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CenTexLyn (Post 6695907)
...
Isolated instances do not condemn an entire system...

That is correct. However, I think that it is not the system that is at issue in the referenced article. I think also that the article managed to succeed in making the point that this is not just an instance here and there. What is at issue is that there is substantial evidence that prosecutors are not simply derelict in their primary statutory duty which is "not to convict but to see justice done" but that they actively seek to avoid doing exactly that. They cite 91 cases but those are only the ones that are evident. How many might there be should DA's files be made public? How many secrete exist that will never see the light of day? I think the article sought to indict not our system if justice as a whole but the unethical officers of the court that infect that system and render it less than what it should be. Our justice system is only as good as the people that implement it. For 91 identifiable instances of prosecutorial misconduct I feel confident that there exists a DA's office that not only supports that conduct but teaches and breeds it as their modus operandi. Is it any surprise that an act of prosecutorial misconduct as despicable as the one detailed in that article comes out of the Wiliamson County DA's office? Williamson County is famous for being the most harsh in all of Texas and no DA compares to John Bradley for displaying obvious and outspoken contempt for all who he prosecutes. I, for one, am not surprised to find that that he is just as much - of not more - of a criminal than those he hates so much. Very typical for such a self rightous and arrogant bag of air. Those sons of bitches knew that man was innocent and sent him to prison anyway. I hope John Bradley ends up right where he belongs which is clenching his butt cheeks in a Texas prison.

rlwhitmore 04-17-2012 08:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobinsMan (Post 6708408)
That is correct. However, I think that it is not the system that is at issue in the referenced article. I think also that the article managed to succeed in making the point that this is not just an instance here and there. What is at issue is that there is substantial evidence that prosecutors are not simply derelict in their primary statutory duty which is "not to convict but to see justice done" but that they actively seek to avoid doing exactly that. They cite 91 cases but those are only the ones that are evident. How many might there be should DA's files be made public? How many secrete exist that will never see the light of day? I think the article sought to indict not our system if justice as a whole but the unethical officers of the court that infect that system and render it less than what it should be. Our justice system is only as good as the people that implement it. For 91 identifiable instances of prosecutorial misconduct I feel confident that there exists a DA's office that not only supports that conduct but teaches and breeds it as their modus operandi. Is it any surprise that an act of prosecutorial misconduct as despicable as the one detailed in that article comes out of the Wiliamson County DA's office? Williamson County is famous for being the most harsh in all of Texas and no DA compares to John Bradley for displaying obvious and outspoken contempt for all who he prosecutes. I, for one, am not surprised to find that that he is just as much - of not more - of a criminal than those he hates so much. Very typical for such a self rightous and arrogant bag of air. Those sons of bitches knew that man was innocent and sent him to prison anyway. I hope John Bradley ends up right where he belongs which is clenching his butt cheeks in a Texas prison.


Hahaha...very well said!:thumbsup:

TnT1202 04-25-2012 09:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CenTexLyn (Post 6695907)
The plea offers possibly going up closer to election is NOT indicia of prosecutorial misconduct. Besides...if you don't like the offer, then don't take the plea and set it for trial.

The DA does NOT 'dole' out the sentence even in a case that is the subject of a negotiated plea- they may set the ground rules vis a vis the baseline term on the plea, but ultimately the Court still has to accept the plea (and some don't always accept a plea agreement). Further, if one goes to trial, the impact of the DA in the matter of sentencing is nowhere near what you appear to give it credit for...at that point, the sentence is up to the 12 in the box (unless one opted for bench trial, in which case the robed one is setting the number).

Isolated instances do not condemn an entire system...



You may be right in some instances, but I can pretty much bet that the DA has a whole lot more stroke in the sentences than most people know about. District Attorney's are not about truth & justice, they are only out for a conviction! :angry::eek:

Desertdweller11 01-21-2020 10:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rlwhitmore (Post 6707168)
I will never sit on a jury again because I HAVE seen both sides and I now know that a jury does not have all the facts. I would be distressed that I was making a decision on less than all the facts. And, again, I'm sorry but the DA can, and does, affect the sentence. No, he may not be able to dole it out, but he can "advise" the court of what he would like. I'm not saying this is how it happens everywhere. As I said before, this just happens to be my own personal experience. Not enough justice....too much politics. In our case anyway.

I agree with you....Prosecutor can put on a made for TV movie if he wants to make sure somebody gets convicted and for how long...


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