Updated Thursdays

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Mandatory Ethics

You may recall a while back we talked about Mike Anderson’s training for his prosecutors; he ripped into the Innocence Project and seemed to suggest that it was the DA’s office against the world.

Well, Bexar County District Attorney Susan Reed wants to see prosecutors all over Texas required to make Brady education part of their mandatory training each year. The bill passed the House & Senate, and is currently awaiting Governor Perry’s signature. If you’re not familiar with Brady, that’s the requirement that prosecutors turn over any exculpatory evidence (that which tends to prove the defendant’s innocence.)

This was one of a number of bills and reforms inspired by the Michael Morton case; Morton was convicted and served 30 years for the brutal murder of his wife before it was revealed that his prosecutor had hidden evidence that could have exonerated him.

I think any effort to improve the administration of justice is a good thing, but it does leave me wondering how this could affect Coy’s case. There may be hidden information, but we have no way to know; remember, the police don’t appear to have made any effort to gather physical evidence in his case.

The first interview, that crucial ‘outcry’, was recorded with no audio. The mother’s first written statement, which could have shown consistency or inconsistency in the girl’s accusation, was discarded. The first police report, the first complaint, is hidden from the public by the Family Code.

Meanwhile, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is overturning Jonathon Salvador’s cases by the hundreds; Salvador is the Houston Crime Lab tech that was faking test results.

We know that one of Coy’s prosecutors got in trouble for a Brady violation some years after his case. Doesn’t that warrant at least a close second look at all her cases? If TDCJ wants to make sure their prosecutors know it’s wrong to lie and cheat to get a conviction, what better place to start than past cases?

No comments: