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Prosecutorial Misconduct

June 8, 2001
"Mishandling of Informant Hurt Cases, DEA Concedes" (June 5) should serve as a reminder of the first and most incontrovertible argument against the death penalty in the U.S. Two words: prosecutorial misconduct. This country is a patchwork of police departments, many corrupt, and as long as that is the case, having the state put people to death will inevitably lead to mistakes. There is a trade-off--some truly awful criminals will remain in prison for their lives instead of being put to death, but the chance of letting rogue law enforcement (oxymoronic)
May 2, 2001 | From Associated Press
A federal appeals court Tuesday upheld the murder conviction of a California Highway Patrol officer who killed a San Diego woman after a traffic stop. Cara Knott, 20, a San Diego State student, was strangled by Officer Craig Peyer and thrown from a frontage-road bridge east of Interstate 15 on Dec. 27, 1986. Peyer was sentenced to 25 years to life, and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the conviction and sentence.
December 13, 1996
A federal judge refused Thursday to overturn former Compton City Councilwoman Patricia Moore's conviction on extortion and income tax charges. Denying a bid for a new trial, U.S. District Judge Consuelo B. Marshall ruled that there was insufficient evidence to support Moore's claim of judicial error, prosecutorial misconduct and denial of due process. Marshall presided at the jury trial that ended with Moore's conviction Oct. 9 on 15 criminal counts. Sentencing is set for early next month.
June 3, 1998 | NICK GREEN
Attorneys for convicted wife-murderer Michael Dally filed a motion Tuesday requesting a new trial. Such a motion is routine in major cases and even Dally's attorney doesn't expect it will be granted. "I'm never optimistic for a motion for a new trial because the judge may have to sit there and admit that he was wrong," James Farley said. Farley said that he expects to make a similar motion to an appellate court after Dally's sentencing on June 9 for his part in the murder of his wife, Sherri.
April 4, 2000
Accused mob figure Joseph Isgro pleaded not guilty Monday during his arraignment on federal loan-sharking and extortion charges. Isgro, 52, is accused of lending money at 5% interest a week to people in financial distress and then employing men to collect the payments outside a swank Beverly Hills shopping center. At a bail hearing Friday, an FBI agent testified that Isgro, a record industry promoter, is a soldier in New York's Gambino crime family.
February 6, 2009 | Maura Dolan
The California Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously upheld the death sentence of a man convicted of killing a West Covina police officer more than two decades ago. Michael Anthony Jackson was sentenced to death in 1984 for the fatal shooting of Officer Kenneth Wrede. A federal appeals court later overturned the sentence on the grounds that Jackson's lawyer inadequately represented him during the penalty phase of the trial. The penalty phase was retried, and Jackson was again sentenced to death in 2002.
December 28, 2013 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
HOUSTON - Williamson County Dist. Atty. Ken Anderson had risen to a district judge by the time a special investigation was launched this year to scrutinize a murder he had prosecuted in 1987. In a rare finding, a judge determined that Anderson had intentionally withheld evidence, resulting in the wrongful conviction of Michael Morton. Morton served 25 years in prison for the murder of his wife before DNA tests exonerated him and another man was convicted of the crime. Anderson agreed to serve nine days in jail, resign from the bench and surrender his law license.
December 18, 1994 | BARRY SIEGEL, Barry Siegel, a Times national correspondent, is the author of "A Death in White Bear Lake" and "Shades of Gray," both published by Bantam Books. His last article for this magazine described a South Carolina hospital that turns over pregnant substance abusers to the police
When Circuit Court Judge John Michela and Death Row convict Joe Burrows warily faced each other in a Kankakee County, Ill., courtroom on Sept. 8, it was by no means their first encounter. In the spring of 1989, Michela had presided over Burrows' two trials on first-degree murder charges. The first trial had ended in a deadlocked jury; the second had ended in Burrows' conviction. The same two eyewitnesses--a small-time cocaine dealer and a scared, dim 22-year-old--had composed the sum of the state's case at both trials.
May 24, 1994 | DWAYNE BRAY
Mark Scott Thornton's due-process rights were not violated by prosecutors who obtained an indictment against the Thousand Oaks teen-ager in the slaying of Westlake nurse Kellie O'Sullivan, a judge ruled Monday. Ventura County Superior Court Judge Charles R. McGrath rejected a motion by defense attorneys and refused to dismiss the criminal charges against Thornton. Police say Thornton, 19, kidnaped and fatally shot Kellie O'Sullivan, 34, during a carjacking.
June 14, 1991 | From a Times Staff Writer
Attorneys defending William Kennedy Smith on rape charges charged Thursday that Palm Beach, Fla., police and prosecutors have "intentionally coached and assisted the complaining witness in the fabrication of her story." The charge, contained in a motion to dismiss the charges against the nephew of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), was the sharpest attack so far by Smith's attorney's on the prosecution case and seemed to signal a key element of the defense strategy.
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