NY STATE BAR PRAISES SENATE ON WRONGFUL CONVICTION BILL, CALLS ON ASSEMBLY TO ACT
The bill (S.5875-A and A.8157) would require the videotaping of custodial interrogations in some felonies and require blind or double-blind witness identification procedures.
“These procedures would address two of the root causes of wrongful conviction-false confessions and misidentification. They have played roles in many wrongful conviction cases,” Miranda said.
The 74,000 member New York State Bar Association should want nothing to do with this bill … it implies that law enforcement officers are more to blame than prosecutors and their supervisors for false convictions, which is a big, fat lie.
Our justice system went off the rails when absolute immunities from prosecution for deliberate misconduct was granted to prosecutors by the U.S. Supreme Court in Imbler v Pachtman in 1976. Prosecutors supervisors were granted the same immunities in Van de Kamp v Goldstein in 1977.
It is – quite simply – not against the law for prosecutors and their supervisors to break the law.
So prosecutors and their supervisors do break the law.
The Bar is supposed to be holding prosecutors and their supervisors accountable, and it simply refuses to do so more than 99.9% of the time, even though the only punishments it can mete out is fines and/or temporary or permanent disbarment, i.e.; a financial setback and a career shift, at worst.
Were the Bar meting out financial setbacks and career shifts whenever prosecutorial and supervisory misconduct was exposed, the entire nation would know that immunities from prosecution for misconduct have to be legislated out of existence at the federal level, immediately.
The Bar has had almost 40 years – since Imbler – to find its collective conscience and change its ways. Apparently, it doesn’t have a collective conscience.
In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court had an opportunity to curtail prosecutorial and supervisory misconduct in Connick v Thompson, but the five money-is-speech/corporate-charters-are-birth-certificates/up-is-down sell-outs sold us out. Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dissent was gold. (Even though I would have liked to see it in print the immunities from prosecution subject only to Bar review constituted a second justice system, and that it was already decided that anything separate was inherently unequal, and therefore unconstitutional … per Brown v Board of Education in regards to separate but equal facilities.)
This all being the case, the swiftest way to make justice available is to hit the Bar in the only place its capable of feeling pain … in its finances. We must insist that the IRS Oversight Board retroactively revoke the American Bar Association tax exemption for being fraudulent, as California recently revoked Blue Shield’s exemption for its abuse, which will send a message to every local and state Bar that its exempt status is in jeopardy. Please sign the petition. Thank you.