Monday, August 16, 2010

White Knights, Wet Hens, and Roof Tiles!

This is a blog written by a former federal prosecutor who is currently a criminal defense lawyer in Augusta, Georgia. In this blog, I try to post (hopefully) interesting articles about fraud, public corruption, and other types of white collar crime. I also attempt to describe what our criminal justice system is really like--on the inside -- at the sausage factory!
In this blog, I have always avoided discussions about any clients or about any pending criminal cases. And I will stick to that policy here now, too.
But that doesn't mean that I can't vent a little bit, in general, about the proper role of prosecutors! You see, as a former prosecutor, I've been there, done that! I know how prosecutors are supposed to act. But today, folks, (without discussing any criminal case in particular!), I am as mad as a wet hen about the way some prosecutors act! I am so upset that I could jump and bite a roof tile in half!
You see, I strongly believe in our adversary system of justice. Each side -- prosecution and defense -- has a proper role to play. I also believe that it is appropriate, as Justice Sutherland once said, for prosecutors to "strike hard blows, but not foul ones." But sometimes, it seems that a few prosecutors have the "white knight" syndrome. They appear to believe that they are entitled to strike hard, foul blows, in the cause of justice! But they are wrong to act this way! And, in my opinion, our adversary system, along with the cause of justice, suffer when this occurs.
I realize that I didn't really explain here exactly why I am so upset, or precisely how the government has struck a foul blow today. After all, I must adhere to my policy! But please allow me this forum and this opportunity to vent about an injustice! And please know that, while I will not stop believing in our adversary system, I will not give up the good fight against injustices either! There, I feel better!
Do you know of any examples of injustices in our court system? Do you believe our criminal justice system gets it right most of the time?

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