Justice Dept. office to punish prosecutors’ misconduct


WASHINGTON — The Justice Department created a new internal watchdog office on Tuesday to make sure federal prosecutors face swifter and more consistent punishment if investigators find that they committed misconduct.

The change follows a USA TODAY investigation that identified 201 criminal cases in which federal courts had found that Justice Department prosecutors had broken laws or ethics rules — violations that put innocent people in jail and set guilty people free. Although each of the cases was so serious that judges overturned convictions or rebuked the prosecutors for misconduct, USA TODAY found that the department often took years to investigate what went wrong, and that prosecutors faced little risk of being fired.

Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement Tuesday that while most federal prosecutors meet their ethical obligations, the current procedures for disciplining those found to commit misconduct “consume too much time, and risk inconsistent resolution.” He said the new unit “will help change that by providing consistent, fair, and timely resolution of these cases.”

The unit, called the Professional Misconduct Review Unit, will be responsible for disciplining career prosecutors when the department’s ethics investigators conclude that they engaged in intentional or reckless misconduct. Until now, those decisions had been made by the prosecutors’ supervisors, most often U.S. attorneys. The department has faced criticism for not doing enough to investigate and punish misconduct.

Holder wrote in a memo that those procedures “have resulted in delays” because the officials in charge of discipline are also busy with other things. The new unit will have to make decisions more quickly, and will also be able to report misconduct to state bar associations. It will review findings of misconduct that occur after it is fully staffed.

The new unit, which will make referrals to state bar association disciplinary authorities, will handle all findings of professional misconduct that occur after the unit is fully staffed, the memo said. “This is serious business. It’s a sign of a lack of faith in the behavior of U.S. attorneys around the country,” said Joseph diGenova, a former U.S. Attorney in Washington, D.C. “If things have gotten so bad that the department finds willful misconduct and you haven’t been able to figure that out, you’re out of the ballgame. The message is, ‘Manage your office and impose discipline, or we will.’ ”

 

Continue Reading….

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Justice Dept. office to punish prosecutors’ misconduct

  1. Gosh this Government makes me want to screen at the top of my voice That’s all said a good, however, in my dealings OPR and other DOJ entities, this is just another smokescreen made to cover for a corrupted DOJ etc etc. This well presented assurance by “Holder” carries no weight with me. What about complaints that have been filed since the Bush Administration, clinton administration,filed many years ago and still have not been ajudicated, or better than that not even replied to after one makes inquiries to the same? The bottom line is,Prosecutor’s will continue to do as they like, and I am living proof of this. I would love to show anyone the complaints I have filed thatstill have never been ajudicated concerning my ongoing criminal prosecutions that for 16 years and continue to thisvery day. I will amaze you on just how the U.S.system of justice really operates.

    Like

  2. That’s all said a good, however, in my opinion this is just another smokescreenmade upby the Government. This means nothing because what about complaints that have been filed since the Bush Administration, clinton administration, that have been filed many years ago and still have not been ajudicated against those the complaints were made against. This is rubbish if I ever seen it. Prosecutor’sdo as they like and there is nothing anyone can do about. I am living proof and I would love to show anyone the complaints I have filed thatstill have never been ajudicated.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s