Wednesday, February 29, 2012
From the Times-Picayune, this piece by former Louisianna Chief Justice Pascal F. Calogero, Jr. "The problem," writes Calogero, "is not rogue prosecutors; it's a system that heavily incentivizes the winning of convictions at any cost, and provides no penalty for breaking the rules." The remedy, writes Chief Justice Calogero, is legislative. Advocating reforms to the discovery phase of the criminal trial process, Calogero supports making open file discovery a mandated statewide practice. Calogero also suggests that the legislature limit the use of snitch testimony, particularly in capital cases, and disclose all deals. Calogero writes, "jailhouse testimony is a commodity on an unregulated market, where prosecutors are encouraged to secure the least reliable evidence from individuals with the greatest incentive to lie."