Feb 3, 2015

US Senator at AG Nominee Confirmation Hearing: Read Licensed to Lie

Licensed to Lie by former Assistant
United States Attorney and Chief of
of the Appellate Section for the
Western and Northern Districts of Texas,
US Department of Justice, Sidney Powell
U.S. Senator Orin Hatch (R-Utah) offered an unusual comment in last week’s confirmation hearings for the proposed new attorney general of the United States, Loretta Lynch.

Hatch suggested the nominee read a book: Sidney Powell's Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice (Brown Books Publishing Group, 2014).

Hatch is right.

Prosecutorial misconduct is rampant in prison-state America.

Prosecutorial discretion is a quaint term we see when one reads old essays and speeches by Robert Jackson.

Violations of the Brady Rule, prosecutors’ duty under the Brady v. Maryland (1963) case to turn over to the defense exculpatory evidence are "epidemic," to borrow a term from an opinion from Judge Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. (Cassens-Weiss, ABA Journal)

From small-town prosecutors in Mississippi to northern Wisconsin, from federal prosecutors across the country to the District Attorney's office in Grant County Wisconsin, too often the office of the Prosecutor has abandoned the conception of justice, in favor of careerism and convictions.

Wrongful convictions, abuse of process and malicious prosecutions are routine in the USA.

Richard Posner of the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit sounds the alarm in Fields v. Wharrie and Kelley.

And locally the Dane County (Wisconsin) District Attorney has spoken out favorably of the work of the Innocence Project.

"No prosecutor should want to have innocent people who have been wrongfully convicted stay in prison. If evidence is brought to the attention of the authorities demonstrating that a mistake has been made, the interests of justice demand that the evidence is carefully reviewed and the individual should be released if exonerated. As Dane County District Attorney, I have worked with lawyers from the Innocence Project, and will do so in the future. ...The ultimate goal of the system is not simply to secure convictions, it is to do justice," said Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne. (mal contends)

Sidney Powell, the author and federal appellate jurist whom Sen. Hatch recommends, wrote in response remarking of prosecutors:
Indeed, as officers of the court entrusted with the power of the Sovereign, they should be held to an even higher standard. Instead, abusive prosecutors have been promoted, gaining even more power that will make them even more corrupt.  What happened to the citizens in Licensed to Lie can happen to anyone. Just ask the teams of the Innocence Project who work tirelessly to free people who have spent decades in prison for crimes they did not commit. More than half of those wrongful convictions were the result of prosecutorial misconduct.
Powell is among the few voices in this country standing up and stating repeatedly: Prosecutors have a license to lie, and this is wrong.

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