Prosecutorial Misconduct Essay

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It is difficult to hold prosecutors accountable for acts of misconduct. Since prosecutors are often viewed as the “good guys” by the public, many times unethical, as well as illegal acts will be tolerated by the courts and criminal justice system as a whole. Prosecutorial misconduct is considered any action taken by the prosecutor in a criminal case that is against the law and/or unethical. Prosecutorial evidence can be anything from harassing witnesses on the stand, pressing unfounded charges against defendants, tampering with evidence, withholding evidence, up to taking bribes. Prosecutors can sometimes get away with misconduct as it is extremely difficult to prove that misconduct had actually taken place. Often times the prosecutor is viewed as being on the side of justice and as a result it is difficult for the defendant (who is accused of a crime) to turn the tide against the prosecution. Although during the trial both the defense as well as the judge may report a prosecutor for misconduct, this rarely happens as these reports are often dismissed. This is because as long as the prosecutions misconduct does not affect the outcome of the case, then it is tolerated, meaning that a prosecutor can harass a witness or the defendant so long as the harassment did not have anything to do with the outcome of the trial. The fact that the prosecutor works in the interests of the state can be seen as the underlying factor here. The prosecutor can get away with misconduct; because if it were proven that the prosecutor was actually responsible for misconduct it would greatly undermine the goal of the state, which is to seek justice. If the prosecutor is misconducting themselves then it gives the impression that the prosecutor is not interested in justice, but more so a conviction, whether it be done so legally and ethically, or not. Prosecutorial misconduct happens, and

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