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Failure to Divulge Evidence an Epidemic, Judge Says

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posted on Dec, 11 2013 @ 02:44 AM
The basis of a fair and free judiciary in the United States is an adversarial system where both sides are equal, albeit from different advantages applied to account for circumstance.

Among these, the prosecutors have the full power of the State, which includes a virtually unlimited budget, if needed, and manpower with few, if any, limits. The array against an individual can be daunting if the State chooses for it to be on a given case.

The primary and, in some ways, ONLY real counter for this situation and inherent inbalance of power within the system is a process referred to as Disclosure. Very simply put and boiled down to it's basics, it means the Prosecution must turn over it's evidence before trial begins. Most especially, anything they happened to uncover for exculpatory evidence. (or evidence to exclude the suspect from possible guilt).

The failure of prosecutors to divulge exculpatory evidence in criminal cases has reached epidemic proportions, the 9th Circuit's top judge wrote Tuesday.

Reacting to the federal appeals court's refusal to reconsider the case of man convicted in 2003 for possessing Ricin with intent to use it as a weapon, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski stated that an absence of "professional discipline" and a lack of real consequences has loosed "an epidemic of Brady violations abroad in the land."

Named for the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark case from 1963, Brady v. State of Maryland, the Brady rule generally requires prosecutors to hand over all exculpatory evidence to the defense.

It's critical to note here, our system is also separated by different sections. As any fan of Law and Order knows, the people are represented by two parts. The police who arrest and the District or Prosecuting Attorneys who prosecute. The Court stands as a 3rd section and apart from the first two.

If one or both of the first two fail, the 3rd...or rigged before it's even gotten a chance to open the proceedings by lack of facts to work with.

While Brady violations occur in all courts, Kozinski noted three recent cases in the 9th Circuit where the disclosure rule played a role, including United States v. Sedaghaty, Aguilar v. Woodford, and United States v. Kohring.

"Protecting the constitutional rights of the accused was just not very high on this prosecutor's list of priorities," Kozinski wrote. "The fact that a constitutional mandate elicits less diligence from a government lawyer than one's daily errands signifies a systemic problem: Some prosecutors don't care about Brady because courts don't make them care." (Emphasis in original).
Source: Courthouse News

Appellate Courts can sometimes have voices that carry beyond the local circumstances of a case. Occasionally, media picks up on things and runs with it. This is something almost any decent person can be upset about, as it's the textbook method for a system run amok to literally convict an innocent man.

Let's hope the words from this decision DO carry beyond it's limited scope and are heard for reform to begin. After all....It isn't JUST a matter of innocent people convicted. They aren't in there for nothing. SOMEONE actually DID commit whatever crime corruption has miscarried justice for. THEY got AWAY with it...if an innocent went down.

Many reasons....many indeed, for why this MUST be corrected if it's so bad, even the courts are publicly calling them out for it.

posted on Dec, 11 2013 @ 03:55 AM
Disclosure is something we also have in the UK, however, as many may wish to point out and has been even voiced by our police, the prosecution only presents the evidence to get a guilty verdict and sits on evidence that would exonerate or provide reasonable doubt. However in the UK our law is now being used with a little draconian piece aded that, makes the law profits by grabbing the belongings of individuals found guilty so has a vested interest in sitting on disclosure. It should also be remembered that cops wanting to look good for promotion also have vested interests in guilty verdicts so the complaint about disclosure on both sides of the channel is very real and needs redressing.

posted on Dec, 11 2013 @ 04:55 AM
What did you expect from the Kangaroo courts of a totally corrupt system? justice?

posted on Dec, 11 2013 @ 11:49 AM
I believe there are two things this country needs to get us back on track.

First, we need a Department of Citizen Prosecutors. Their sole function would be to prosecute police, judges, lawmakers, and federal, state, and local officials. The way laws are written, govenment prosecutors have sole discression on what cases they prosecute, so they tend to give their own a free pass. We need people that will independently investigate things like police shootings, corrupt judges and prosecutors, and the like.

Second, we need national referendums. It's painfully obvious that legislators are not representing the interests of their constituents. We need a way for the citizenry to propose legislation and have the entire country vote on it. Things like Obamacare, the NDAA, and the Patriot Act would be history.

posted on Dec, 11 2013 @ 12:49 PM
This should not surprise anyone. They sole goal is to convict. Getting a conviction is what counts. Truth and fairness be damned.

They dont even care about getting the right guy so that smashes the entire myth of "justice" right there.

Get a conviction. Anyone will do as long as they can get a conviction. When it looks like they might not get the conviction (or the guy isnt the real perp) they just cook what they have to to get the conviction.

So rest easy America knowing full well that the justice system isnt worried about locking up innocent people or closing cases when rapists and murderers are still out there. They got that conviction and that's all that matters.

posted on Dec, 11 2013 @ 09:04 PM
The justice system is going the same way the health care system evolved in America. FOR PROFIT!! Private prisons, contracted personnel, little if any oversite and instead of Federal or State officials there will be a CEO and a board of directors responsible for "justice"...........The cops, DAs, and judges will essentially work for the private corporations but be paid by the taxpayers. What irony!

In the near future....justice and due process will fall to the holy "bottom line"; can prison factories be far behind??

The Corporate Oligarchy is almost complete under Obama. I would think the Republicans would be ecstatic as it's what the neocons have been working for since Ronald Reagan.

Evidence?.............we don't need no stinking evidence!!

It's a brave new world; welcome to the monkey house!!!

edit on 11-12-2013 by olaru12 because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 11 2013 @ 09:45 PM
In the UK the Government imposed figures on the police for prosecutions and instead of fighting crime as it arises, they have to meet their targets.

This one stupid yet typical politician-thought removed the efficiency of the police and literally changed our legal system, because now instead of being not-guilty till proved guilty the figures have to be met so the law has been tailored to help hit the figures and justice suicided by jumping off its pedestal and died due to its fatal flawed injuries.

posted on Dec, 11 2013 @ 10:08 PM
The Perry Mason in me is outraged at this.
Not much to add, it's a sorry state of affairs.
Our Republic is crumbling away.

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