Tuesday, February 3, 2015 – 08:30 a.m.
Most can agree that the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has had its issues at times. But the Federal Appeals Court that oversees California appears to have had it with prosecutor misconduct in the state.
The court has found a unique, but potent, method to deal with what it says is rampant prosecutorial misconduct, when the state courts fail to intervene.
That new method? Hold the case Brady v. Maryland over the heads of all involved, including those with oversight of the offending prosecutors. It’s a case which addresses the impact of misconduct on one’s credibility in legal proceedings.
In other words, have any administrative proceeding or court, federal included, make a factual finding that you lied, tampered with or withheld evidence, etc., and if you’re a peace officer or attorney, you’re essentially done in law enforcement and the legal profession.
It’s the law, federal courts shall not intervene or disturb state convictions or legal findings, with essentially one exception. That exception being when any of a defendant’s federal constitutional rights has been violated, thus triggering a Writ of Habeas Corpus petition seeking relief in the federal court.
So far two media outlets have covered the case of Baca v. Adams.
Here is the related coverage:
Los Angeles Times: U.S. judges see ‘epidemic’ of prosecutorial misconduct in state
The Open File coverage is more detailed than the Times, and makes for good reading.
A three judge federal panel, all lifetime appointees, essentially beat the daylights out of the California Attorney General’s Office over egregious misconduct in the Baca case. After the court indicated it would make Brady findings against all involved, by name, the Attorney General summarily withdrew opposition.