Monday, August 13, 2012

Ex-Judges, Prosecutors Join Fight Over Prosecutorial Misconduct

The Blog of the Legal Times is reporting that more than 50 former federal judges and prosecutors are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a dispute over alleged government misconduct taking a position in the case against the Justice Department.  The Wall Street Journal law blog has more information here.

The case presents an interesting question:  does a prosecutor act unethically (or illegally) if he or she charges a defendant with a crime out of vindictiveness, malice or spite, but under circumstances that can support an argument of probable cause for the charge. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled last August that prosecutors can’t be sanctioned for “subjective ill-will,” if they have an objectively reasonable basis for bringing charges.

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