Yes, it’s scary to nip at the ankles of powerful people, but it’s even scarier to know that things will get worse if we don’t.
From: Susan Chandler
Date: December 17, 2010 12:18:03 AM EST
Cc: ASKDOJ <ASKDOJ@usdoj.gov>, firstname.lastname@example.org, Governor Charlie Crist <Charlie.Crist@eog.myflorida.com>, Senator Mike Haridopolos <email@example.com>, Norm Wolfinger <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, John Glisch <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Sandy D’Alemberte <email@example.com>, Gerald Bailey <firstname.lastname@example.org>, The Innocence Project <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: “States can discipline federal prosecutors, rarely do” – Brad Heath and Kevin McCoy, USA Today 12/9/10
Attn: Brent Jones, Standards Editor
Dear Mr. Jones:
I am writing to ask that you clarify and correct the subject article. Prosecutorial misconduct ruins and ends lives, and the media’s contentment with its continuation – evidenced by circuitous and misleading reporting – is unacceptable. Innocents inside our prisons guarantees mayhem outside; there is no upside to leaving even one killer or rapist at large, let alone thousands.
Manslaughter isn’t considered to be deliberate, but as it doesn’t bring back the dead, it’s typically prosecuted … still reporters Heath and McCoy nonsensically assert in regards to prosecutorial misconduct, “One reason disciplinary actions are rare is regulators may find that the violations were not deliberate.” There is no way for a prosecutor to accidentally coach a jailhouse informant, and prosecutors do it all the time. And not just federal prosecutors. And informants are just one of many untenable trial tactics in widespread, deliberate use by prosecutors.
“People can lose their judgement in the heat of battle,” Bill Weigel said in defense of prosecutorial misconduct.
In truth, the only one who is ever embattled in criminal cases is the defendant; he battles for his reputation, freedoms or perhaps his very life, and may well wrongly lose his fight because misconduct is as common in courtrooms as gavels.
Heath and McCoy forgot to ask Weigel how much time we should allow prosecutors that temporary lose their judgement to recover their judgement and correct their misconduct. Three decades? Four? More? Can Weigel cite an example of a prosecutor recovering his judgement and disclosing misconduct? Is Weigel a sociopath or merely supercilious in believing an attorney’s career is more valuable than an innocent’s freedom or life?
The biggest elephant that Heath and McCoy left in the room is Congress failing to override case law and legislated civil immunities that have turned our civil servants into America’s biggest, deadliest gang. They’d had 34 years to undo Imbler v Pachtman, and instead allowed other case law and legislated immunities to make matters exponentially worse.
Gannett newspapers should be badgering Congress incessantly for those overrides instead of using false light artifices to assist in covering up corruption year after year. The subject article and those linked to it are no different than a July 19, 1994 USA Today article; “Convicted on False Evidence” that pretended similar depth and scope on another aspect of misconduct.
The article called a still-premature “all clear” on discredited dog handler John Preston’s perjuries by postdating, relocating and misstating Preston being found a perjurer and a fraud by several state lines and several years, as well as attributing the finding to a lower court instead of a federal court. It was an insult to Juan Ramos and deeply injurious to other Brevard County, Florida men. After the story, Wilton Dedge served ten more years, Bill Dillon served another 14, Gary Bennett remains incarcerated and so do others … not just in Florida. Some were executed. Others served wrongful sentences and were paroled with their names tarnished, their prospects abject, their rights diminished or revoked.
Florida Today, Brevard’s Gannett-owned local paper, continually publishes articles about Preston as inaccurate as the 1994 USA Today article. It’s clear that their intent is to engineer election outcomes, reelecting one man who used Preston and coached jailhouse informants, two who cover up use of Preston and jailhouse informants, and still another who runs interference for the others, apparently abusing his family ties to the FBI, the federal agency mandated to investigate public corruption that affects trial outcomes (and election outcomes).
It’s no great leap to consider that USA Today may be employing the same tactics for the same reasons. Perhaps the payoff is a Congress so corrupt that media mergers that aren’t in the public interest get approved anyway, like the one currently before Congress and others easily approved before it.
There are thousands of darkly clouded convictions that the FBI should investigate in clusters – bogus bullet lead analysis, discredited dog handlers, outdated fire forensics, outdated blood spatter forensics, discredited labs, discredited medical examiners, etc. Surely if the FBI can “sweep” dogfight operations in several states almost simultaneously last year, they can investigate public corruption that affected trial outcomes in an organized manner in the year ahead. The FBI’s bogus bullet lead analysis alone involves 2,000+ cases, and all the FBI has to do is write letters to the convicted – the FBI has known for a long time that writing letters to the involved prosecutorial supervisors was a waste of time, they hide behind Van de Kamp v Goldstein like their staffs hide behind Imbler.
The media is more to blame than corrupt prosecutors for the ever-deadlier pervasiveness of public misconduct. More to blame than the Bar, Congress or the FBI. It’s the media’s responsibility to maintain the public trust, not exploit it. What Heath and McCoy authored was a promotional piece for unequal justice, inferring that prosecutorial misconduct that cost freedoms or lives would be amply punished by the perpetrator losing his license to practice law.
An eyelash for an eye, instead of an eye for an eye – traitorous rubbish.
Clarify and correct the article, Mr. Jones. The IRS has no reason to believe the Bar’s claims of equally protecting the public and its members, yet grants tax exemption. Congress is studying criminal justice “reform” in Committee for two years at The Innocence Project’s insistence instead of rapidly restoring equal justice by overriding civil immunities of its own volition; similarly frivolous state Committees and Commissions are springing up. The FBI put canines ahead of men, likely one of their reasons is their use of discredited dog handlers resulting in at least one execution. Officers, prosecutors, D.A.’s and judges that break laws in criminal prosecutions break laws in other aspects of their employ, and the bloody proof is in governors’ Executive Orders and other reliable sources. Federal grants are being abused; a Florida International University multi-year federal “scent evidence” grant recipient showed up in Texas to testify FOR discredited dog handler Keith Pikett, many Coverdale grant recipients are likely more deserving of investigation than funding. Janet Reno, “Sandy” D’Alemberte and Robert Cromwell sit on IP boards, apparently willing to use their experience with the DOJ, Bar and FBI, respectively, to expand an innocence industry instead of securing swift justice, pretending Congress is powerless to override immunities, that the FBI and DOJ aren’t obliged to investigate conviction corruption, that slow “reform” is preferable to getting killers and rapists off the streets immediately while freeing innocents … and more.
Given the scope of misconduct, it’s certain that another innocent will die behind bars today. His railroaders will be relieved, perhaps joyous. His family – if they survived their anguish – will be among hundreds of families who played by the rules, paid their taxes and were persecuted in return. They likely won’t buy the newspapers that damn their dead like they bought newspapers when they thought that justice was available and only required more patience, another appeal, a different attorney, a new senator, governor or president, or a real reporter.
A real reporter. If you’ve got one, assign one to rewrite, Mr. Jones. Civil servants are America’s biggest, deadliest gang, courtesy of “give me liberty or give me latte” reporting typified by Heath and McCoy’s injustice promo.