Criminal Justice

Prosecutors Behaving Badly

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• The top drug prosecutor, two police officers, and a retired circuit court judge in Wayne County, Michigan will be arraigned today on charges that they suborned (or in the judge's case, knowingly allowed) perjury in a case against two alleged cocaine dealers.

• A federal judge in Miami has concluded that prosecutors in a prescription painkiller case against a Florida doctor committed "flagrant violations" during the trial, including unauthorized recordings of witness calls during an illegal attempted bribery sting on one of the defense attorneys (he didn't take the bait). There are also allegations that the DEA pressured one of the state's witnesses to lie on the stand. The defendant was acquitted.

• Santa Clara County, California has been rocked by a series of scandals in which police and prosecutors withheld key exculpatory evidence from defense counsel, including in hundreds of sex abuse cases. One prosecutor was recently given an unprecedented three-year suspension by the state bar. So what has been the reaction from Santa Clara County District Attorney Dolores Carr? Shame? Anger? Promises for reform?  Nope. She wants to limit the state bar's authority to discipline prosecutors.