Amendments a defendant has a right toa preliminary examination. Role of the Grand Jury For federal criminal charges the Fifth Amendment requires an indictment from a grand Jury. The role of the Grand Jury is to see and hear the evidence presented by the prosecutor and determine if there is probable cause to issue an indictment. The grand Jury only has to determine probable cause so there is no need for the prosecutor to present all the evidence or even conflicting evidence.
The prosecutor just needs to show probable cause. Exculpatory Information A trial includes a constant effort to protect the rights of the defendant in a court of law (Zalman, 2008). Evidence may be presented by the prosecution in a manner intended to place the defendant at an unfair disadvantage. This evidence is a violation of his or her right to due process and right to fair trial when it is discovered to be untruthful and haphazardly presented to the Jury (Zalman, 2008).
This information can include a misleading testimony in which a witness withholds vital information that will negatively affect the defendant. Additionally, the prosecution an allow a testimony from a witness that is misinformed or ignorant, which can affect cross-examination from the defense. Since the purpose of cross-examining the witness is to obtain information that will weaken the testimony, a misinformed witness does not provide the defense with a useful basis (Zalman, 2008). Evidence presented by the prosecution must be researched and found truthful.
The 1963 case of Brady v. Maryland illustrated misconduct on behalf of the prosecution in withholding evidence from the defense during pretrial proceedings (Zalman, 2008). Brady and his companion, Boblit were prosecuted for murder (Brady, 2010). Brady confessed to the prosecutor that he was at the scene of the murder, however did not actually commit the act (Brady, 2010). The prosecution received a written confession from Boblit that agreed with Bradys statements, however did not present this portion of the evidence during the pretrial (Brady, 2010).
Consequently, the Maryland Court of Appeals had “affirmed the conviction and remanded the case for a retrial only of the question of punishment” (Brady v. Maryland, 2010). Additionally, this case esulted in what is known as Brady evidence or “evidence which consists of exculpatory or impeaching information that is material to the guilt or innocence or to the punishment of a defendant” (Brady material, 2010). Colloquially, ‘Brady cops’ are law enforcement officers that lie.
There are ongoing efforts to pass laws that require all evidence to be available during the pretrial process. Prosecutorial misconduct Prosecutorial Misconduct is a legal defensive strategy, for the most part. It is the equivalent of the accused being allowed to claim the prosecutor did not follow all the ules and was unfair to them in the trial process (Zalman, 2008). Such claims can be varied, from withholding evidence to not acting to interview people who could prove the accused’ innocence.
Withholding evidence that the defense is supposed to have access to, planting evidence at a crime scene, going ahead with charges when there is no evidence that could be used in court to convict the accused are the first instances that are suspected, however they can also include: false confessions, false arrest, intimidation, police brutality, corruption, racial profiling are all further xamples of a prosecution that has made an effort to abuse its powers in order to get a guilty verdict (Zalman, 2008). There are many examples across the U. S. o show by example what is meant. In Baltimore a man was shot four times by police in what they described as a drug bust gone bad (Police, Prosecutorial and Judicial Misconduct, 2010). No drugs were found on the premises and no drugs were found in the accused’s system (Police, Prosecutorial and Judicial Misconduct, 2010). So little evidence was found that the prosecutor had the case postponed 15 times trying to ait to see if enough evidence would come up to allow him to go forward with the case (Police, Prosecutorial and Judicial Misconduct, 2010).
When finally tried almost three years later, the suspect was found not guilty (Police, Prosecutorial and Judicial Misconduct, 2010). In Camden County, New Jersey a man who had been held for 15 years had the conviction vacated when it was discovered that the prosecutor knew that someone had been paid to testify against the accused, yet that information was never given to the defense (Police, Prosecutorial and Judicial Misconduct, 2010). The an had never confessed and had proclaimed his innocence from the day he was arrested (Police, Prosecutorial and Judicial Misconduct, 2010).