Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Extra!: U.S. Attorney agrees to vacate conviction after thrashing by Ninth Circuit for prosecutor's misconduct

Last Saturday I posted a video in which the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit severely criticized the conduct of a district attorney who based an argument on facts not in evidence.  At the end of the oral argument (by a different prosecutor) one of the judges suggested that the prosecutor go back home and watch the tape of the argument with the prosecutor in question and simply confess to the conduct and stop trying to justify it or explain it or claim it was harmless error.

Well, apparently they did just that, as Seeking Justice reports, "no doubt to avoid a scathing decision from the Court."

Here’s the government’s four paragraph motion to vacate the conviction and remand the case. Seeking Justice summarizes it as simply saying "We’ve all reviewed it, our prosecutor was wrong, and we will use the video to teach prosecutors the bounds of proper closing argument."

That is a good thing, I guess, and hopefully they will take it seriously in the future.