Prosecuting the prosecutors / by kevin murray

The structure of justice in America, clearly favors the prosecutorial side at the expense of those accused of criminal activities, as well as hindering the defense attorneys of those so accused.   The reason that this is so, is because the prosecutor, in many cases, has taken on in fit, form, and function the mantle of not searching for the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and thereby doing honor to that truth; but rather has replaced such with a deep abiding desire, to rack up victories, by prosecutorial actions that result in convictions, rightly or wrongly.  That is to say, many prosecutors are all about winning convictions, and seldom about performing their sworn duty that justice, above all, is served.


In point of fact, the prosecutor has an absolute obligation to provide to the defense all material exculpatory evidence, but when the mindset of that given prosecutor is convictions, above all else, then prosecutors are going to structure what is provided to the defense in a manner, that obfuscates or ignores such, to the detriment of justice and fairness.  Additionally, many prosecutors are wholly unfair in the charges made against defendants as well as the plea bargains so offered, especially for all those that are indigent, and without council or with council that are overburdened by case overload.


While one could appeal to the better angels of these prosecutors and thereby hope to see some sort of material change in their behavior, that probably isn't going to work, for prosecutors hold so much power and are so enthralled to that power, that such power has thoroughly taken control of their psyche. Rather, the only real way to catch a thief is for experienced attorneys, to oversee prosecutorial activities in a manner in which, this oversight committee would have the absolute right to investigate thoroughly questionable prosecutorial actions.


At the present time, each State has a State Bar Association, of which the current responsibilities of that Bar include the regulation and disciple of attorneys, in which within that Association, an offshoot could be created of retired attorneys, specifically structured in a manner to investigate suspected prosecutorial mismanagement.  Further to the point, such an Association should be constructed in which the people would have representation within that Association, so that combined, the people along with retired and experienced attorneys, would have the right to investigate thoroughly suspected prosecutorial material errors for misconduct, and to hold those prosecutors, accountable to such charges.


If such an Association was created, and created with some real bite to it, that in and of itself, would certainly impress upon even those most recalcitrant prosecutors, that their days of being the only sheriff in town, with no one and nobody to hold them accountable, effectively being over.  In other words, prosecutors operate today under the belief that there is no one and nobody that can stand up to them, so that the most egregious prosecutorial errors, mismanagement, and deliberate prejudice are permitted as a matter of course.  Prosecutors are able to conduct their business in that manner, mainly because so much of what they are doing is successfully hidden from public investigation or scrutiny of any kind; in which, when prosecutors are aware, that they are subject to a meaningful review from a superior body, with appropriate penalties so imposed, they very well might change the way that they conduct themselves to align much better with the principles of good law, fairly applied.