Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Prosecutorial Misconduct in the Casey Anthony Trial

If Casey Anthony had been convicted of murder, it would have been overturned
At least if this NY Times report that the prosecution failed to disclose that crucial computer evidence contradicted the prosecutors’ trial claims is true:
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office had used the software to validate its finding that Ms. Anthony had searched for information about chloroform 84 times, a conclusion that Mr. Bradley says turned out to be wrong. Mr. Bradley said he immediately alerted a prosecutor, Linda Drane Burdick, and Sgt. Kevin Stenger of the Sheriff’s Office in late June through e-mail and by telephone to tell them of his new findings. Mr. Bradley said he conducted a second analysis after discovering discrepancies that were never brought to his attention by prosecutors or the police.

Mr. Bradley’s findings were not presented to the jury and the record was never corrected, he said. Prosecutors are required to reveal all information that is exculpatory to the defense.
None of this sheds light on whether Anthony killed her daughter, but if the prosecution in a death penalty case withheld exculpatory evidence and presented false evidence at the trial, then there will be more fallout from this case.
I've seen this article in a number of places, but this one at Legal Insurrection seems the most succinct.  As a society, we must insist that the government play by the rules when it prosecutes someone, even if they're morally certain that they have the correct perpetrator.  If true, the prosecutor should be prosecuted.

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