December 12, 2012
SOC 374- Paper 2
1. One of the factors that could possibly lead to a prosecutorial misconduct is that, the prosecutors care more about winning their cases than being neutral and prosecuting fairy. We see this clearly in the reading “Talking About Prosecutors”, “Rather than ensure that convictions are obtained fairly and the innocent protected, prosecutors place undue emphasis on their win-loss ratios and "keep personal tallies" of their conviction rates to advance their own careers”(2127). Another factor that can play a role in a prosecutorial misconduct is when the prosecutor knowingly withholds evidence from the defense. In the article Burke writes, “Motivated by the accolades, bragging rights, and future career advancements that come with high win-loss records, the prosecutors described in much of the traditional Brady literature intentionally, knowingly, or at least recklessly withhold potentially exculpatory evidence, playing "games" with a doctrine that allows them to maximize their conviction rates my gambling with justice”(2128). Another reason that prosecutors may withhold evidence that could lead to prosecutorial misconduct is because according to the article, state bodies rarely charge or sanctioned prosecutors for withholding the evidence. So if prosecutors are never disciplined, then they will continue doing it. Overall I think that prosecutors have this pressure of getting convictions that leads them to withhold evidence just so they can chalk a win in the books.
2. According to Burke, when we use the “blame the prosecutor” rhetoric the innocence movement casts prosecutors as outsiders to its cause. Burke writes, “By treating prosecutors as "other," the language of fault invites prosecutors to resist and disengage from the study and prevention of wrongful convictions”(2131). And we can’t blame the prosecutor,...