Prosecutors wage war on judges who insist on fairness

When South Carolina State Supreme Court Justice Donald Beatty told a convention of prosecutors that judges would not permit "unethical conduct, such as witness tampering, selective and retaliatory prosecutions, perjury and suppression of evidence," prosecutors revolted, vilifying him. They're following the lead of San Diego prosecutors, who boycott judges who are to "pro-Fourth Amendment." And in Arizona, prosecutors are fighting an ethics rule that would require them to disclose "new, credible, and material evidence" of wrongful convictions.

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  1. Due process is so 17th century. Stop dragging us into the past you loonie liberals!!

  2. What!? Does this mean that prosecutors in the US are in the habit of gaming the system to bank up their conviction rates...and their careers? I'm shocked, shocked I tell you.

    Well, at least they are now coming right out and effectively admitting it. That they feel comfortable in doing so indicates how badly "law enforcement" has gone off the rails. Justice is for wimps.

  3. But how are they going to lock up all of the brown people if the judge starts to insist that they have to have committed a crime first? The judge is just making it hard for the prosecutors to do their job.

  4. The last time Radley Balko's work was cited here, some felt the need to slime him.

    Whatever his politics, Balko is perhaps the most valuable journalist working today -- his reporting has literally saved lives.

  5. There is a line in "The Gulag Archipelago" where Solzhenitsyn describes how Soviet prosecutors would use the argument "we arrested you and charged you with a crime, we wouldn't do that if you were innocent. . . or are you accusing us of being incompetent and arresting the wrong person?! That would be anti-revolutionary agitation!"

    Now, I don't assume that US prosecutors would ever use that logic in court, but I sometimes think their minds work along the same lines-- in order to do their job they have to believe they are prosecuting the right person, and once that bridge has been crossed it's "win at all costs." It's not "fair" if someone they think is guilty goes free, so why make the trial fair?

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