Harmful Error
Prosecutorial Misconduct Study Report Released

For over two years, Steve Weinberg, a veteran investigative journalist, working closely with Attorney Neil Gordon, writer Brooke Williams and a team of researchers with the Center for Public Integrity, conducted an exhaustive study of prosecutorial misconduct across the United States.  The project is well suited to the Center for Public Integrity, a consortium of journalists, lawyers and researchers in Washington, D.C., that specializes in uncovering systemic problems.  Funding for the prosecutorial misconduct project is coming from several sources, most prominently the Open Society Institute, New York City.

Did you know --

  • Since 1970, individual judges and appellate court panels cited prosecutorial misconduct as a factor when dismissing charges at trial, reversing convictions or reducing sentences in at least 2,017 cases.

  • The nature of the questionable conduct includes:

    • Courtroom misconduct (making inappropriate or inflammatory comments in the presence of the jury; introducing or attempting to introduce inadmissible, inappropriate or inflammatory evidence; mischaracterizing the evidence or the facts of the case to the court or jury; committing violations pertaining to the selection of the jury; or making improper closing arguments);
    • Mishandling of physical evidence (hiding, destroying or tampering with evidence, case files or court records);
    • Failing to disclose exculpatory evidence;
    • Threatening, badgering or tampering with witnesses;
    • Using false or misleading evidence;
    • Harassing, displaying bias toward, or having a vendetta against the defendant or defendant’s counsel (including selective or vindictive prosecution, which includes instances of denial of a speedy trial);
    • Improper behavior during grand jury proceedings.

Learn what you don't know, before it hurts you!  Click the title to read the report.

Read Steve Weinberg's account of the Ellen Reasonover story, Railroaded, published in The American Lawyer.

Truth in Justice