It's Time to Hold Prosecutors Accountable #AccountabilityNY

400

Number of Complaints

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1700

Affected Clients

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2750

Number of Cases

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2900

Personal Injury Cases

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Accountability NY is a coalition of law professors, Civil Rights Corps, and other community activists seeking professional consequences for prosecutorial misconduct.

What is Prosecutorial Misconduct?

The United States’ legal system is supposed to be based on fairness, due process, and equal protection. It has basic and clear rules about what prosecutors, defenders, and judges should and should not do.

 

However, prosecutors in New York have, on far too many occasions, broken the most basic rules to win cases, often at the expense of our constitutional rights. This ranges from prosecutors hiding evidence that could prove someone’s innocence to misrepresenting information to courts and juries and even to emphasizing false testimony to get their desired ruling. This is called Prosecutorial Misconduct, and it is a widespread problem. Prosecutorial misconduct leads to disastrous consequences, including wrongful convictions. A recent study of 2,400 exonerations found that almost a third of them included prosecutorial misconduct.

 

Alarmingly, the majority of these violations are likely never discovered or disclosed to New Yorkers. The cases on this website represent a larger crisis that plagues New York City and State.

What Accountability NY Is Doing About It

The biggest reason prosecutorial misconduct continues to be widespread is that courts, district attorneys, and bar associations rarely hold prosecutors accountable for their misconduct. In fact, the whole system incentivizes misconduct by using “court wins” to measure prosecutorial success. Even when appellate judges discover misconduct, they usually leave prosecutors’ names out of the court opinions and almost never publicly discipline or sanction prosecutors for such findings.

 

The sole mechanism for holding prosecutors accountable in New York is through filing an official complaint regarding the prosecutor’s misconduct with a Grievance Committee called a grievance. These committees investigate the grievances and recommend disciplinary action, including stripping prosecutors of their right to practice law.

 

Accountability NY – a group of law professors and activists with the support of Civil Rights Corps – filed grievances in instances where New York courts found prosecutors committing misconduct and those prosecutors had not yet faced public discipline. In the grievances, the professors urge the Grievance Committees to act. You can read the filed complaints below and on the Complaints Page.

TAKE ACTION

DEMAND ACTION

Let your borough’s Grievance Committee know that you want prosecutorial accountability.

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