Does Prosecutorial Misconduct Need to Be Punished to Make a Difference?
In his newest op-ed New Commission to Regulate Prosecutorial Misconduct, Prof. Bennett Gershman of Pace Law School introduces the nation’s first public commission, proposed in New York State, that is designed to investigate complaints of misconduct by prosecutors and impose discipline upon prosecutors who violate the rules.
Prof. Gershman recaps some of the most egregious recent instances of prosecutorial misconduct and points out that prosecutors are rarely disciplined for their misconduct. He points out that misconduct by prosecutors is costly because it leads to wasting money on re-litigating the same case over and over, it diminishes public confidence in the criminal justice system when prosecutors are not held accountable for their misconduct, and it imposes unimaginable pain and suffering on the innocent and their families. Prof. Gershman then concludes that
a commission that is independent from the legal profession, and independent from the prosecutor’s office, will be able to conduct investigations in a nonpartisian, non-political, and objective manner.
Read the full Bennett L. Gershman, New Commission to Regulate Prosecutorial Misconduct, HuffPost Crime (May 20, 2014).