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It is rarer still for justices – usually in the state Supreme Court or appellate court – to reverse convictions because of misconduct. Michael Darnell Harris, now 53, has been behind bars for 33 years on four murder convictions in Detroit, Michigan.
But a new study by Harvard Law School’s Fair Punishment Project shows Southern California ranks high in reversals in which misconduct by a prosecutor played a factor. Leon Cannizzaro refuses to acknowledge either his innocence or the gross misconduct of the police and prosecutors who put him in prison. Harris was convicted of the 1981 murder of 77-year-old Ula Curdy in 1983.
Kussmaul is still in prison, and all four defendants want their innocence to be a matter of record. Prosecutorial misconduct and the misuse of jailhouse informants are persistent problems in the criminal justice system.
According to the National Registry of Exonerations, since 1989 there have been 923 exonerations tied to official misconduct by prosecutors, police, or other government officials, 89 of them in cases involving the use of jailhouse snitches.
Those guys were lauded as heroes, for fitting up two people with limited intelligence, by planting evidence and spoon feeding a confession not supported by evidence to a special needs kid. Hudson said the cops poured a bright red substance on him as he sat in the squad car. What one hears amid the chorus of accusers is the malice of the village.
There is one detective in Tacoma, WA who refused to reshape evidence (lie under oath) to help prosecutors convict a woman of crimes they could not prove -- most likely because she did not commit them. It is a case about state prosecutors getting caught hiding exculpatory evidence, and getting scolded for it by the federal courts, and then violating the federal court order sanctioning them by threatening a witness and spoiling the retrial of a man they helped to wrongly convict.
It is a case where prosecutors did all of this, right up to the brief they filed with the justices, without an evident shred of public contrition for their improper conduct.
The senior Morgan insured and killed two more people before he got caught, and he was still not charged in one of those murders.
And Tyrone Hood, a family man who did nothing wrong, is still in prison. The Cook County DA is not concerned with innocence or guilt, but asks only, ‘How is this going to wash politically?