An “epidemic” of prosecutorial corruption and misconduct

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 8.11.09 AMPower corrupts, we all know that. Federal and state prosecutors have a lot of power, and a lot of corruption and misconduct has resulted. How many stories have unfolded in the last few years of someone being exonerated, found completely innocent, after spending many years in prison?  Even one is too many, and there have been dozens.  I used to disbelieve it when I heard someone say America imprisons a lot of innocent people.  I now see that as having been naive. Most of these cases result from a prosecutor willfully withholding “exculpatory” evidence, i.e., evidence the defendant is not guilty of the crime charged.  Prosecutors are duty bound by prior Supreme Court Constitutional precedents to give such evidence to the defendant’s lawyer.  Failure to disclose evidence of innocence deprives the defendant of due process of law.

The case of Jonathan Fleming from Brooklyn is all too typical. He spent 25 years in prison for a murder he did not commit. David Ranta, also from Brooklyn, spent 23 years in prison for murder before being released last year, also because evidence exonerating him was withheld. Prosecutor Charles Hynes sent both of these men to prison knowing they were not guilty. Ranta got a large settlement from the City last year. Fleming is suing for $162 Million. His case is solid. Hynes withheld a phone record that proved Fleming was in Florida at the time the murder was committed in Brooklyn.

Cases like these and others recently prompted Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski to say that prosecutorial misconduct has become “an epidemic.” The power to prosecute is augmented with complete discretion and absolute immunity. Police officers enjoy only qualified immunity. The qualification is that they are immune from suit only when it is shown that even though mistaken they were acting in good faith. The lack of a good faith requirement equals absolute immunity. Only Prosecutors and Judges have it. No one should.

The book pictured above, Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice, by former Justice Department lawyer Sidney Powell, “…exposes a coterie of vicious and unethical prosecutors who are unfit to practice law that has been harbored within and enabled by the now ironically named Department of Justice,” says William Hodes, Professor of Law Emeritus, Indiana University. Ms. Powell has an article today in The New York Observer in which she recounts the corrupt lawyers with which Barack Obama has surrounded himself: All the President’s Muses: Obama and Prosecutorial Misconduct. The story is accompanied by a photo showing Barack Obama meeting with Kathryn Ruemmler, Lisa Monaco, and Susan E. Rice. Sidney Powell explains,

If ever a picture was worth a thousand words, it is a recently released White House photo of President Obama and his muses—if one only knew the truth behind those muses whispering in the President’s ear as they strategized in the aftermath of the Benghazi tragedy. To understand the (politely-put) “lack of transparency” from the White House, the enormous politicization of the Department of Justice, the release of Taliban leaders from Guantanamo, refusal to cooperate with congressional investigations, the IRS’s harassment of political opponents, and the cover-up of Benghazi, read on.

Read on, you must. It’s devastating. These people are pure evil. The final paragraph:

Attorney General Robert H. Jackson once said, “The prosecutor has more control over life, liberty, and reputation than any other person in America. His discretion is tremendous. . . .While the prosecutor at his best is one of the most beneficent forces in our society, when he acts from malice or other base motives, he is one of the worst.” A prosecutor has almost unilateral, unchecked ability to destroy the lives of those he charges. It is beyond troubling that our top law enforcement officer chooses the company of those who repeatedly failed their duty.