It's an often lonely cause-considered politically incorrect by today's evangelical punitive sheeple, hyped up by a 24-7 media more focused on the Ratings Game than to be bothered by pursuit of the truth via investigative journalism, Edward Murrow style; however, a recent JAABlog post shows the Frog does not stand alone on the lily pad of effort.
In fact, many would consider recognized legal scholar Jonathan Turley froggy good company, well worth croaking about.
Turley's 6/24/2007 Washington Post column-Lots of Prosecutors Go Too Far. Most Get Away With It-discusses the recent disbarment of Michael Nifong for "dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation."
"What's most remarkable about the whole scene, though, is how rare it is. Nifong's misconduct was hardly unusual: Some of the most high-profile cases in history have involved strikingly similar acts of prosecutorial abuse. But instead of being punished, the worst violators are often lionized for their aggressive styles -- maybe even rewarded with a cable television show."***
"played fast and loose" with core ethical rules in a 1990 triple-murder case. Like Nifong, Grace was accused of not disclosing critical evidence (the existence of other suspects) as well as knowingly permitting a detective to testify falsely under oath. The Georgia Supreme Court also reprimanded her for withholding evidence and for making improper statements in a 1997 arson and murder case. The court overturned the conviction in that case and found that Grace's behavior "demonstrated her disregard of the notions of due process and fairness and was inexcusable." She faced similar claims in other cases."
"You might have expected Grace to suffer the same fate as Nifong. Instead, she has her own show on CNN, and the network celebrates her as "one of television's most respected legal analysts." On TV, she displays the same style she had in the courtroom. (In the Duke case, her presumed-guilty approach was evident early on, when she declared: "I'm so glad they didn't miss a lacrosse game over a little thing like gang rape.")"
"The Grace effect is not lost on aspiring young prosecutors who struggle to outdo one another as camera-ready, take-no-prisoners avengers of justice. Grace's controversial career also shows how prosecutors can routinely push the envelope without fear of any professional consequences. Often this does not mean violating an ethics rule, but using legally valid charges toward unjust ends."***
"Take the case of Genarlow Wilson.""An honors student and gifted athlete, he was preparing for college in 2005 when he was charged in Georgia with aggravated child molestation for having consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old girl.""Though Wilson was only 17, Douglas County District Attorney David McDade and Assistant D.A. Eddie Barker secured a 10-year sentence for an act committed by thousands of teenagers every year. It's not a crime in most states, and Georgia recently reduced it to a misdemeanor. But the prosecutors are now fighting a judge's efforts to release Wilson. They can't be charged on ethical grounds, but they've used the criminal justice system to brutalize a young man who should have received a stern parental lecture, not a 10-year prison term."***" Nifong's disbarment...may deter some prosecutorial abuse, but until less visible cases are subjected to more scrutiny, it may prove to be an isolated event -- driven by the same publicity that led to the abuse in the first place. If the case hadn't been so high-profile, it's doubtful that Nifong would have been charged, let alone disbarred, for his misconduct. The Duke case should teach us that a truly fair criminal justice system must strive to protect the rights of the accused as vigorously as it does those of the accuser."***
The Last Word"Prosecutors are sworn to protect the rights of the accused as well as the accuser, to refuse to pursue cases that would not serve the interests of justice. Yet in today's environment, it appears that prosecutors can never be too tough, the way models can never be too skinny."