Thursday, March 17, 2011

DC Ct of Appeals reverses conviction because of prosecutorial misconduct but splits on whether prosecutors should be investigated

The blof of the Legal Times is reporting (here) that, in a 2 to 1 opinion, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, has reversed a conviction after finding that federal prosecutors failed to timely turn over exculpatory information to the lawyers representing a man in a shooting case. However, the judges who voted for the majority split over whether the trial judge, Craig Iscoe, should inquire whether prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia committed an ethics violation by failing to provide the defendant's lawyers with information beneficial to his case. The case is called Tyree Beysean Miller v. US and the 75-page opinion is available here.

I haven't had time to read the long opinion myself, so I am relying on the news item, but it is hard to understand how you can find that there is prosecutorial misconduct and then not say that it should be investigated whether the misconduct is a violation of the professional rules. If this is an accurate description of what happened here, it is another example of a missed opportunity for a court to take prosecutorial misconduct seriously. For comments on this issue go here and here. For all the recent stories of prosecutorial misconduct - and, unfortunately, there are many, go here.

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