Courtroom Proffesional Standards

Topics: Criminal law, Lawyer, Judge Pages: 4 (1139 words) Published: September 2, 2013
Courtroom Participants’ Professional Standards
CJA/224
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Courtroom Participants’ Professional Standards
Prosecutorial Misconduct
Prosecutorial misconduct occurs when the prosecution mishandles a case, compromising the outcome of a case. The following are examples of how a prosecutor can commit misconduct: withholding evidence from the defense, mishandling evidence, credibility of witnesses, displaying bias towards the defendant, and causing for evidence to be overlooked (Lutsky, 2003). Any one of these actions could lead a judge or jury to make a conviction that is unjust.

If a defendant believes that he or she is a victim of prosecutorial misconduct, he or she may then file a claim and possibly have the verdict overturned. Fortunately for the prosecutor, he or she is protected from civil suits by the Supreme Court (Lutsky, 2003). The reasons that the Supreme Court allows prosecutors immunity is because they believe that prosecutors may otherwise fear civil lawsuits and not go forward with their accusations (Lutsky, 2003).

The case of Ellen Reasonover is one that exemplifies prosecutorial misconduct. She was found guilty by a grand jury because they only heard the facts of the prosecution and therefore only had that to go on (Lutsky, 2003). The prosecution deliberately withheld a recording between Ellen and her boyfriend that proved she was unaware of the actuality of the situation and not sure why she was in jail (Lutsky, 2003). Had the recording displayed guilt on Ellen’s behalf, the prosecution would gladly have used it at trial, but instead they chose to withhold it from the defense. This case also showed misconduct on behalf of the prosecution because of the credibility of two witnesses they put on the stand and for not correcting false testimony of another (Lutsky, 2003). All three of these instances were used to show prosecutorial misconduct and caused for Ellen’s conviction to be overturned and for her to be released from...

References: Freedman, Eric. (October 17, 2012). Local, state judicial misconduct cases draw action. Holland Sentinel.com. Retrieved February 18, 2013 from http://www.hollandsentinel.com/news/x346782233/Local-state-judicial-misconduct-cases-draw-action
Gunsberg, Jerod. (March 21, 2012). Posts Tagged ‘ineffective assistance of counsel.’ The Law Offices of Jerod Gunsberg. Retrieved February 18, 2013 from http://thelosangelescriminaldefenseblog.com/tag/ineffective-assistance-of-counsel/
Lutsky, Julia. (September 1, 2003). Prosecutors and Prosecutorial Misconduct. Partnership For Safety and Justice. Retrieved on February 18, 2013 from http://www.safetyandjustice.org/node/171
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