Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Police, Prosecutorial and Judicial Misconduct

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"When I planted a case on someone, did I feel bad?" Officer Rafael Perez asked. "Not once. I felt good."

RAMPART

When Officer Rafael Perez was arrested, it led to the biggest scandal in the history of the Los Angeles Police Department. Perez did what Rodney King could not do: bring the LA force under federal supervision.

One Bad Cop

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February 7, 2004: Lawyers representing Earl Washington in his lawsuit against the Culpeper, Virginia police who orchestrated his conviction for the brutal 1982 rape and murder of Rebecca Williams have gathered evidence "including the identity of the convicted rapist whose DNA was identified in the semen mixed with the victim's bodily fluids on the . . . blanket on which she was stabbed and sexually assaulted; his criminal history; circumstantial evidence of his motive and opportunity to commit this crime; and admissions by him". Yet Virginia authorities have no intention of prosecuting Ms. Williams' killer, and have kept the evidence under seal to protect themselves. Release of Sealed Documents Sought

Louisiana: It was New Orleans Assistant District Attorney Lionel Lon Burns' third try to convict police officer George Lee, III of rape. Two earlier trials ended in mistrial and then a hung jury. So Burns planted evidence -- and got caught. DA Jailed for Evidence Tampering

Oregon: Those looking for potential curbs on the now proverbial overzealous prosecutor might be interested in the McDade bill, which requires federal prosecutors to comply with state ethics laws. No big deal? Not quite. In August, the Oregon Supreme Court forbade all lawyers in the state to lie, or encourage others to lie, cheat, or misrepresent themselves. Under McDade, the ruling now applies to Oregon's federal prosecutors. McDade's Legacy

United States: What are the lawyer ethics rules in your state? Click HERE for the ABA's ethics resources.

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