Public misconception that the criminal justice system assures cases end righteously took another blow this morning with the country’s leading daily newspaper lambasting widespread prosecutorial cheating by hiding evidence unhelpful to the government and a status quo that, until now, has tolerated the corruption.
The New York Times‘ editorial board wrote, “So why is it so hard to keep [district attorneys’ offices] from breaking the law or violating the Constitution? The short answer is that they are almost never held accountable for misconduct, even when it results in wrongful convictions. It is time of a new approach to ending this behavior: federal oversight of prosecutors’ offices that repeatedly ignore defendants’ legal and constitutional rights.”
Because prosecutors in Louisiana apparently have been more egregious, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas escaped mention in this scathing Times‘ piece, but there’s no doubt he’d make their list of what the paper calls the “worst actors,” who have displayed an unrepentant “pattern or practice” of fixing trials in their favor.
In OC’s ongoing jailhouse snitch scandal tainting dozens of felony cases, not a single, involved law enforcement official has received a tender wrist caress as punishment—a fact underscoring both Rackauckas and Sheriff Sandra Hutchens are major impediments to legitimate reform.
In fact, two sheriff’s deputies—Seth Tunstall and Ben Garcia—have remained on duty without charges even though Superior Court Judge Thomas M. Goethals blasted them 15 months ago for committing perjury in a death penalty case, People v. Scott Dekraai.
Contributing to the cesspool is California Attorney General Kamala Harris, a current U.S. Senate candidate whose willingness to tolerate cheating if it done by a person with a badge sadly has become legendary.
R. Scott Moxley has won Journalist of the Year honors at the Los Angeles Press Club; been named Distinguished Journalist of the Year by the LA Society of Professional Journalists; and hailed by two New York Times Magazine writers for his “herculean job” exposing Southern California law enforcement corruption.