NY Times takes on Justice and Prosecutorial Misconduct, The Brady Rule and how Prosecutors are almost never punished when they break the law

Prosecutors have enormous power in determining who is subjected to criminal punishment because they have broad discretion in deciding criminal charges. The Brady rule, established by the Supreme Court in 1963, is supposed to be an important check on that power. It requires prosecutors to disclose evidence favorable to the defendant. But their failure to comply is rarely discovered, and, even then, prosecutors are almost never punished.

The Supreme Court, in an outrageous decision earlier this year, further weakened the ability of wronged defendants to make prosecutors’ offices liable by giving them nearly absolute immunity against civil suits. Justice Clarence Thomas justified the ruling, noting that an “attorney who violates his or her ethical obligations is subject to professional discipline, including sanctions, suspension, and disbarment.” But bar associations hardly ever punish this behavior; judges seldom discipline prosecutors for such violations; andcriminal sanctions are rarely imposed against prosecutors.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/29/opinion/justice-and-prosecutorial-misconduct.html?_r=2&hp

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