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As someone who is facing criminal charges, you cannot trust anybody in this country. And that includes the prosecutor. Yes, that’s right. Prosecutorial misconduct is a real thing.
You cannot surprise anyone with police misconduct in this country anymore, but prosecutorial misconduct? “It’s definitely something new,” you may be thinking. But it’s not!
Prosecutorial misconduct has been around for ages, and when you are up against this type of misconduct, a San Francisco criminal defense attorney is your only friend and your only hope to escape wrongful convictions.
Generally, prosecutorial misconduct involves prosecutors tampering with, hiding, manipulating or withholding exculpatory or exonerating evidence. Although prosecutorial misconduct has been around for quite a while, it became one of the most talked-about topics just two years ago.
In 2016, the California Legislature enacted a new law that enables courts to hold prosecutors accountable for the withholding or distortion of exculpatory or exonerating evidence as well as other forms of prosecutorial misconduct.
Although pretty much anyone in California and all across the nation can become a victim of prosecutorial misconduct, in no way does it mean that all prosecutors and district attorneys’ offices commit this form of misconduct against innocent people.
Nonetheless, there have been numerous outrageous cases of prosecutorial misconduct, which will prompt you to think twice before letting the prosecutor have the final say in your criminal defense case. An experienced criminal defense attorney in San Francisco or elsewhere in California is often the only person you can trust and the only one you can rely on.
Sentenced to death, spent 18 years in prison, and then found innocent of the crime
If you do not believe us, ask John Thompson, who was convicted of robbery and murdering Louisiana in 1984. Although Mr. Thompson was sentenced to death, he was lucky to dodge death because Louisiana does not execute death row prisoners immediately.
Mr. Thompson had spent almost two decades in prison – 18 years, of which 14 were on death row – before he was exonerated and released from prison. “Why was he released?” you are probably wondering. Well, after all these years, an investigation by a private investigator showed that Mr. Thompson was actually innocent of the crime.
Your next question is: “Okay, so why was Mr. Thompson convicted of the crime in the first place then?” And that’s where prosecutorial misconduct comes into play. Turns out, the investigation showed that the district attorney prosecuting the case chose to conceal the evidence proving Mr. Thompson’s innocence.
The exonerating evidence that was discovered as part of the investigation included a blood test that proved Mr. Thompson’s innocence as well as information about a payment that was given to an informant to testify against Mr. Thompson at the trial.
Unfortunately, it is not an isolated case. Prosecutorial misconduct is more common than you think, and it takes a skilled San Francisco criminal defense attorney to find evidence of prosecutorial misconduct. Strengthened oversight and prosecutorial accountability are of great importance in order to prevent prosecutorial misconduct in California and all across the United States.
To be on the safe side, do not take your chances. Let our experienced criminal defense lawyer at Okabe & Haushalter take up your particular case and prevent the prosecutor from tampering with, hiding, manipulating or withholding exculpatory or exonerating evidence in your case. Schedule a free consultation by calling our offices at 310-430-7799 today.