Prosecutors hold immense power and they can cause immense harm when they break the rules. Serious misconduct at the Queens District Attorney’s Office (QDAO) has been regularly reported for years. For example, beginning in 2007, Queens prosecutors utilized interviewing practices that undermined suspects’ Miranda rights, according to the Appellate Division and the Court of Appeals. Another QDAO policy established a wall between different units in the office, inevitably leading to trial prosecutors failing to disclose exculpatory material in the hands of another unit.
The misconduct in these grievances appears to fall within a largely-unaddressed pattern of improper conduct. In fact, these cases represent a fraction of prosecutorial misconduct as most instances go unreported. We need to have a more accountable New York.