Prosecutors hold a political position that is often dependent on the number of convictions they can put on the books. In many high-profile cases, prosecutors are praised for getting a conviction, but this comes with costs. At the local, state, and federal level, prosecutors have been known to tamper with evidence or withhold evidence for the sake of getting a conviction. In a groundbreaking case, a prosecutor is getting criminally charged for tampering with evidence.
Defendants who are facing criminal charges are up against prosecutors, police officers, and other agency representatives who want to successfully convict them of a crime. It can be difficult to challenge a criminal allegation, especially when the system seems unfairly stacked against your favor. Our Birmingham criminal defense attorney is experienced with the investigation of criminal allegations. We understand the challenges faced by defendants and will work to ensure a fair trial, challenging any evidence illegally obtained or presented against you.
According to news reports, a former Texas D.A. (once famously named the 1995 Prosecutor of the Year) has been sentenced to 10 days in jail after it surfaced that he withheld in a 1986 murder trial. Prosecutors are required to reveal any evidence that would be exculpatory. In this case, the prosecutor withheld evidence that would have been favorable to the defendant who was accused of killing his wife. The innocent man was convicted of a crime he did not commit because of the prosecutor’s illegal conduct. He was forced to stay in prison for 25 years and was only recently freed because of exculpatory DNA evidence.
This is one example of a miscarriage of justice to benefit the career of a prosecutor, at the cost of an innocent man’s life. Many critics see the 10 day sentence as insulting for a crime that cost an innocent man 25 years. The prosecutor has resigned since he was sentenced. In addition to 10 days in prison, he will also be required to fulfill 500 hours of community service and will lose his license to practice law. Despite the number of prosecutors who have been suspected of evidence tampering, this is the first to ever be charged with a crime.
Even before you are charged with a crime, police officers will be collecting and documenting evidence to be used against you. This could involve surveillance evidence, witness statements, police reports, surveillance and physical evidence. In addition to evidence presented by police officers, prosecutors will be searching for evidence to be used against you. As a defendant, you need an advocate who can level the playing field. Prosecutors have been known to tamper or withhold evidence to obtain a conviction. Even though this corruption is illegal, it can go undiscovered and result in wrongful conviction.
Evidence tampering can lead to the innocent conviction of a defendant at the local, state or federal level. Consequences of any conviction can be severe. Defendants who are facing criminal allegations or charges should consult with an experienced advocate who can protect their rights in the criminal justice system.