A Rarity but Necessity: Prosecutors Who Break the Law Must Be Prosecuted
Former Texas District Attorney and state judge Ken Anderson is now facing prosecution for the crimes he committed against the very integrity of our courts and system of justice and against an innocent man, Michael Morton. Pro Publica, which has done a series recently on prosecutorial misconduct and injustice, has an article today on how the tables are now turned against Anderson. Michael Morton spent 25 years in prison while Anderson hid the evidence that proved his innocence. The only just result, which would certainly serve as a deterrent to other prosecutors, would be for Anderson to have to do the same term of imprisonment under the same conditions as Morton endured. Perhaps then, other prosecutors would be more inclined to follow the law they swore to uphold. Stay tuned for more updates on the Anderson prosecution. By the way, even if he is convicted of all the offenses with which he is charged and given the maximum sentence, he won’t serve close to the amount of time that Morton did.
The Pro Publica article, written by Raymond Bonner, is worthy of your full attention. Here is a quote:
However, one thing is abundantly clear: While revelations of misconduct might result in people being freed from prison or granted new trials, action is almost never taken against the offending prosecutors.
An investigation by ProPublica found 30 cases in New York in recent years where convictions had been overturned because of prosecutorial misconduct. Yet in only one instance was a prosecutor punished in any meaningful way.
In fact, many of the New York prosecutors found to have withheld evidence and accepted false testimony were promoted, or received raises, even after courts overturned convictions because of their misconduct.
We urge all attorneys who seek justice to demand that prosecutors be held to the highest standards and abide by the laws they swear to uphold. Anything less renders any notion of Justice a farce.