Prosecutorial Oversight

Prosecutors play an incredibly important role in our society. But they are human – and therefore imperfect – and capable of making errors. At times, some will wield their power inappropriately – and a much smaller, but extremely important, number of them affirmatively commit misconduct. We believe that everybody – including prosecutors – wants to see errors and misconduct addressed, corrected, and deterred.

Research and experience have shown, however, that our systems of ensuring accountability in the wake of such acts have utterly failed to properly address the problem.

The Prosecutorial Oversight Campaign is a national tour to initiate dialogue and seek answers to these questions:
• What are the systems we rely upon to ensure prosecutorial accountability?
• What does research-based evidence tell us about how well those systems are working?
• What improvements should be made to these systems to ensure quality and accountability?

New Findings

Court Findings of Prosecutorial Error and Misconduct in New York State 2004 - 2008
List of Cases - New York

Court Findings of Prosecutorial Error and Misconduct in Texas 2004 - 2008
List of Cases - Texas

Court Findings of Prosecutorial Error and Misconduct in Arizona 2004 - 2008
List of Cases - Arizona

Court Findings of Prosecutorial Error and Misconduct in Pennsylvania 2004 - 2008
List of Cases - Pennsylvania

Existing Systems of Accountability

American Bar Association
Rule 3.8: Special Responsibilities Of A Prosecutor

New York State
Rule 3.8: Special Responsibilities Of Prosecutors and Other Governmental Lawyers

Research on Prosecutorial Misconduct

Innocence Project Report: Court Findings of Prosecutorial Misconduct in DNA Exoneration Cases

Veritas Studies:
Preventable Error – Prosecutorial Misconduct in California 2010
Preventable Error – Prosecutorial Misconduct in California 1997-2009

Center for Public Integrity: Harmful Error

Yale Law Journal: The Myth of Prosecutorial Accountability After Connick v. Thompson: Why Existing Professional Responsibility Measures Cannot Protect Against Prosecutorial Misconduct

University of Missouri - Kansas City Law Review: Judicial Reporting of Lawyer Misconduct

Recommendations for Reform

Cardozo Law Review: New Perspectives on Brady and Other Disclosure Obligations: Report of the Working Groups on Best Practices

Wisconsin Law Review: New The Relationship Between Prosecutorial Misconduct and Wrongful Convictions: Shaping Remedies for a Broken System