Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Prosecuting Prosecutors for Perjury? 9th Circuit Weighs In Concurring Opinions

Concurring Opinions - The Law, the Universe, and Everything:

Prosecute Prosecutos for Perjury?  9th Circuit Comes Down Hard
by Prof. Ronald K.L. Collins
"Writing in the New York Observer, Sidney Powell began his column this way: “What will it take to produce honest and ethical conduct from our state and federal prosecutors? The Ninth Circuit has a suggestion. Perhaps a perjury prosecution will do it. In fact, that is exactly what should happen when prosecutors affirmatively lie. This case, Baca v. Adams, involves a clear violation of the Supreme Court’s decision in Napue, which holds that prosecutors cannot put on perjured testimony, much less lie themselves. Unfortunately, as I’ve documented elsewhere, it happens far too often, when it should never happen at all.”
I urge readers to take a look at Mr. Powell’s column, which is both informative and powerful. Even more so is the video of the exchange between Judges Alex Kozinski, Kim McLane Wardlaw, William Fletcher and  California Supervising Deputy Attorney General Kevin Vienna. Early on in his opening remarks (16 minutes into video), Mr, Vienna stated: “A number of things happened that should have not happened, and we’re not here to defend them.” But he defend them he did, albeit guardedly.
 It was downhill from there. Things got even worse when Judge Kozinski and his colleagues weighed on the matter of prosecutorial perjury. The clip is too extraordinary to quote — you really must see it. So, click on the video and watch how Mr. Vienna attempted to make the case for the State as the Judges dug deeper into the issue of proctorial perjury. → Over at Hercules and the Umpire, Judge Richard G. Kopf adds a few comments.
 UPDATE: This from John Roemer writing in the Daily Journal (Jan. 27, 2015): “Misconduct by Riverside County prosecutors has forced the reversal of a 1998 murder­for­hire conviction in a case that raised the ire of Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski and led to his demand that Attorney General Kamala D. Harris fix the situation.” “Riverside County’s new district attorney, Mike Hestrin, said Monday in a media statement, ‘While we do not concede the prosecutorial misconduct was intentional or malicious … I am requesting that Mr. Baca’s murder case be returned to Riverside County to allow a retrial unmarred by even the appearance of impropriety or unfairness.'”"

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