Monday, January 9, 2006

Ex-Prosecutor Suspended For Misleading Trial Court

[CASE] A New York appellate court suspended a lawyer for three years for lying about a witness's whereabouts. - Ex-Prosecutor Suspended For Misleading Trial Court. According to experts interviewed in the NY Law Journal, this is an unusually strong sanction for prosecutorial misconduct.

During a felony trial, the defense argued that the prosecutor had violated Brady by withholding a police report of a witness whose statements were exculpatory. When questioned by the judge, the prosecutor said that he had been unable to contact the witness at her residence. Later, he located and interviewed the witness at her work. But when the judge again questioned the prosecutor, he stated on the record that he had no knowledge of her whereabouts.

What sanction? The prosecutor pointed to his record as an attorney, a reserve officer, and a church member. On the other hand, he had once before been given a letter of caution for prosecutorial misconduct that resulted in the reversal of a conviction. And in this case, the "conduct strikes at the heart of his credibility as a prosecutor and an officer of the court," he did not take opportunities to correct his false statement, and his action required a costly second trial. The court suspended him from practice for three years. Matter of Stuart, 2005 NYSlipOp 06936 (App. Div. 2d Dept. Sept. 26, 2005.)

Categories: , , ,

No comments: