Rachel Buchter – NY State Bar # 2929941
Bureau Chief of the Felony Trial Bureau III
Law professors filed a grievance regarding Rachel Buchter’s summation misconduct in People v. Thompson, which she prosecuted for the Queens District Attorney’s Office (QDAO).
In People v. Thompson, Buchter improperly argued that Thompson had an obligation or an option to prove his innocence by submitting to DNA testing. The Appellate Division found that Buchter’s argument shifted the burden of proof from the state to the defendant.
Despite this misconduct, Buchter not only remains employed as a prosecutor in Queens County, but, according to a 2021 press release, Buchter is the Bureau Chief of the Felony Trial Bureau III, a senior position involving the supervising and training of other prosecutors. As of the writing of this grievance, the New York Attorney Detail Report notes lists “Disciplinary History: No record of public discipline” for Buchter. This prosecutor’s behavior is far from justice.
Buchter’s misconduct in Queens was far from unique; serious misconduct at QDAO has been regularly reported for years.
Powerful positions require the highest accountability. We cannot reward prosecutors for breaking the rules.