"And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God"
-- Micah 6:8

"The duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict."
-- American Bar Association Standard 3-1.2(c)

"There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia."
--Pope Benedict XVI, June 2004

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Texas Justice

Responding to claims that there is a wave of prosecutorial misconduct in Texas,
this prosecutor makes the point that while we seek perfection, a misconduct "rate" of 1/10th of one percent is not an epidemic.
even under the most pessimistic of assumptions, Texas appellate courts reversed a conviction because of a prosecutor's error only 19 times in four years, or less than once out of every 3,600 criminal appeals. (During that same four-year stretch, Texas prosecutors processed more than 4.3 million criminal cases!) Every unnecessary reversal is regrettable, but prosecutors' low error rate is something that most government employees can only dream of.
Not only are verified acts of prosecutorial misconduct rare, but even those that are confirmed by the courts are often misleading because the term is frequently used to describe situations that involve neither. In other words, the legal concept of prosecutorial misconduct may not involve a prosecutor, and it may not involve purposeful misconduct — at least not in the common understanding of that word.
That sounds about right.  Given the volume of cases, the occasional  Mike Nifong is the exceedingly rare exception in a system that convicts the guilty while it guards the rights of accused with multiple layers of protection.

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