News 07.12.07

California commission considers prosecutorial misconduct

The director of the Northern California Innocence Project < http://www.ncip.scu.edu/> told a panel studying the state’s criminal justice system yesterday that prosecutorial misconduct needs to be addressed.  She said studies had shown that misconduct was widespread.

"Prosecutorial misconduct occurs with some frequency in this state and prosecutors are rarely disciplined for their misconduct," Santa Clara University law professor Cookie Ridolfi said at a hearing at Loyola Law School.

Prosecutors at the meeting disagreed, saying that current rules of conduct were sufficient.

Michael Schwartz, a deputy district attorney in Ventura County, countered that a close look at the available data shows that prosecutorial misconduct occurs in less than 1% of all cases. "I am not sensing that we have a crisis of prosecutorial misconduct … it doesn't seem like we need new rules."


Read the full story here

. (Los Angeles Times, 07/12/07)

The California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice held the hearing yesterday as part of its ongoing review of possible flaws in the criminal justice system. The commission, one of six “innocence commissions” nationwide, was created in 2004. Currently, three bills pending before the state legislature address other issues addressed by the panel: false confessions, jailhouse informants and eyewitness identification procedure.

Read more about the

reform bills pending in the California legislature

.

Read more about the

six Innocence Commissions nationwide

.

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