Grievances

Prosecutors have immense power in our legal system – power that is bound to specific and basic rules. When prosecutors do not abide by those rules, that is called Prosecutorial Misconduct. Prosecutors in New York have broken the rules in many cases to win convictions. There are many types of prosecutorial misconduct, including:

Brady Violations

When the prosecution hides or refuses to disclose evidence favorable to the defendant. (Brady v. Maryland)

Opening and Closing Argument (Summation) Misconduct

When prosecutors improperly make misleading arguments or unfair statements during a trial because that can lead jurors to act improperly.

Removing A Potential Juror Based on Race (Batson Violation)

When a prosecutor removes a potential juror based on race during the process of jury selection. (Batson v. Kentucky)

Tainting the Grand Jury

When a prosecutor breaks the rules that govern their behavior while conducting a grand jury. In a grand jury, prosecutors present evidence privately to jurors without a judge or the defense attorney.

Eliciting False Testimony or Allowing False Testimony to Stand Uncorrected

When the prosecutor prompts false testimony from a witness or fails to correct testimony they know is false.

Improper Questioning of Witnesses

When a prosecutor tries to make a point by asking improper questions of a defendant or any other witness.

The majority of prosecutorial misconduct is likely never discovered. Even when courts find misconduct, they usually do not name the prosecutor, which protects prosecutors from accountability. This means that prosecutors who committed misconduct frequently continue practicing law without any public discipline or accountability. In fact, many prosecutors are promoted despite their misconduct and rise through the ranks of district attorney’s offices, where they have the power to train and supervise newer prosecutors, continuing a cycle of harm in the community.

 

Accountability NY — which is a coalition of law professors, Civil Rights Corps, and other community activists — works to identify prosecutors who have judicial findings of misconduct in their work and yet have not faced public accountability for their actions. Then professors and activists sign the grievances in these cases to demand that the Grievance Committees take action in these cases.

 

We need your help! Read through the grievances below to find out what Queens prosecutors have been doing and then reach out to your local Grievance Committee to let them know you want Prosecutorial Accountability. Be sure to check back – additional complaints about New York prosecutors’ misconduct will be filed in coming weeks.

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Manhattan – Coming Soon