Monday, October 26, 2009
Who are district attorneys protecting?
Prosecutorial misconduct is like a mugging that goes on for 10 years. When the Innocence Project was started by a Northwestern U. professor and his student reporters, every district attorney's office fought them tooth and nail to prevent convicts from getting DNA tests--even when the convict was willing to pay for it. And despite the hard-core obstructionism by one out of five of these prosecutors, the Innocence Project has gotten 244 prisoners off death row and long sentences. No one knows how many more have been railroaded by DAs and cops looking for convictions uber alles--the Innocence Project can only work for a few, and those are limited to the ones for whom DNA evidence is available, mostly.
I'm all for the death penalty if a heinous murderer's guilt is unambiguous. But it has to be rock solid--even eye witnesses have proven to be remarkably fallible. And innumerable DAs and cops have proven to be more interested in convictions than in justice.
I bring this up now because the Cook County (Chicago) DA's office has finally done something different about an Innocence Project case.
It's going after the student reporters.
The NYTimes reports it here:
Making DA and county sheriff offices elective is inherently corrupting, and nonsense like this illustrates how low they can go.