Prosecutorial misconduct occurs when prosecutors fail to turn over exculpatory and other key materials, leak grand jury testimony, and otherwise act in an intentionally negligent manner. It’s a serious problem, but not enough is being done to stop it, says Morvillo Abramowitz’s Lawrence Bader:
“When an ordinary defendant is convicted, he or she is sentenced based on certain generic factors, usually (1) individual deterrence, (2) general deterrence, (3) protection of society and (4) retribution. General deterrence means sending a message to the public: if you commit a crime, you will be punished, so don’t do it! If there were no consequences to criminal behavior when the wrongdoer is caught, the shame of being caught, without some penalty, does not provide much of a deterrent. Therefore, general deterrence requires a combination of punitive sanctions (jail, fine, loss of license, etc.) and likelihood of getting caught. Without both, there can be no general deterrence.
And how does the criminal justice system deal with prosecutors who engage in grossly negligent or deliberately fraudulent conduct? The answer is: with kid gloves. Rarely does a prosecutor suffer any professional consequences for conduct which a court later finds was grossly negligent or fraudulent… Not only do the offending prosecutors not face criminal charges themselves, they usually are not referred to their local bar association’s grievance committee for professional discipline.”
Read the full update, Policing Dishonest Prosecutors — The Criminal Justice System’s Oxymoron - Morvillo, Abramowitz, Grand, Iason, Anello & Bohrer, P.C.»