Just a short post today, because the article I found for you today is quite long. It’s an overview of prosecutorial misconduct all over the nation; specifically Brady violations, why they happen, how they happen, and why there’s very little incentive for the prosecutors to police their own behavior.
Maybe you know someone who believes that Coy is guilty because the justice system is never wrong, and certainly never maliciously wrong; maybe you are one of those people. If that’s the case, I encourage you to take a look at this article.
“Courts most commonly deal with misconduct by overturning convictions. To get a new trial, however, a defendant must not only show evidence of prosecutorial misconduct, but must also show that without that misconduct the jury likely would have acquitted.
The policy may seem more sensible than one of setting guilty people free because of low-level prosecutorial misconduct that had no impact on the verdict, but civil liberties advocates say it sets the bar too high. "It requires appellate court judges to sit as jurors," says Steven Benjamin, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. "It puts them in a role they were never intended to be in, and asks them to retroactively put themselves at trials they didn't attend. It takes a really extreme case to overturn a conviction."”
(Emphasis mine.) I haven’t spent a lot of time on Coy’s 2007 appeal lately, but remember for a moment the many problems brought up by his lawyers; the description of the child as ‘the victim’ from the very beginning of the trial. A judge may say to himself, “Well, *I* know that technically no crime had been proven, so *I* would know to ignore that”, and then label it as harmless. But would your average citizen pulled into jury duty know that? I don’t believe that I would have.
Or consider the officer who swore that she had proof that Coy intended to rape his own daughter, then later admitted her ‘proof’ was actually her ‘feelings’. A judge may say, “Well, her later statement contradicted her initial testimony so much that not only do I understand she had no proof, but also that she’s should reduced the weight of every other statement she made”, but again, would a normal person with little interest in the law understand that? Would the inherent trust that most people have in law enforcement officers allowed them to say “Whoa, she overplayed her hand; I wonder what else she’s exaggerating?”
Please, take a look at this excellent article.