Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Scott Horton, American Lawyer, Commentary: Has a U.S. Attorney Knowingly Prosecuted Innocent People? (on law.com here) - The article discusses some recent prosecutions in Alabama.
In addition to the issues raised by the article, one can't help but notice that the prosecutor is making no comment. A prosecutor can be placed in an awkward position of not being able to make a comment to explain his or her position of what happened in a case, as the prosecutor is bound by ethics rules. But on the other side of the coin is the fact that prosecutors are not reluctant to issue press releases when they indict an individual, even before the jury has weighed in on guilt or innocence. It is rare that you see a prosecutor issue a press release following a jury trial telling how the jury found the individual or company not guilty. In a system where a prosecutor serves as a minister of justice, one has to wonder if prosecutors should be required - when the defendant wants this to happen - to issue a statement of the "not guilty" finding by a jury in cases where the prosecutor had issued a press release telling of the indictment.