Advanced Criminal Law: Convicting the Innocent
Professor James R. Elkins College of Law
West Virginia University|Fall|2016|



Prosecutorial Misconduct

Assigned Reading: Prosecutorial Misconduct (Michael Morton & John Thompson)

Bruce Green & Ellen Yaroshefsky, Prosecutorial Accountability 2.0 [forthcoming, Notre Dame Law Review] [online text]

Civil Rights Complaint of Victim and Exonoree John Thompson Against Former Orleans Parish Assistant District Attorney Jim Williams and the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office for Gross Violations of Civil Rights & Request for Investigation into the Orleans Parish District Attorney's Failure to Address or Remedy the Rogue Misconductof Williams and Other Prosecutors in the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office [online text]

A Case Study: The Life History of John Thompson
Celeste Lofton-Bagert, Master of Science in Urban Studies thesis, University of New Orleans

Book (on the John Thompson case)

  John Hollway & Ronald M. Gauthier, Killing Time: An 18-Year Odyssey from Death Row to Freedom (New York: Skyhorse Publ., 2010)

Class Videos

Michael Morton: Ex Prosecutor Ken Anderson jailed for misconduct in sending innocent man to 25 yrs in prison [3:19 mins.]

Ken Anderson on Michael Morton Conviction [5:13 mins.]

State Bar of Texas Files Civil Suit Against Judge Ken Anderson [3:15 mins.]

John Bradley testifies in Anderson case [2:41 mins.]

Evening With Michael Morton and Barry Scheck
[1:16:15 mins.] [Barry Scheck sets forth his version of why John Bradley opposed DNA testing in the Michael Morton case (DNA was was requested in 2005 and not accomplished until several years later)] [The Barry Scheck explanation begins at 41:28 mins. and ends at 45:45 mins.]

When prosecutors get it wrong in the courtroom [4:15 mins.] [Travis County, Texas DA; sanctioning prosecutors for misconduct: the effort to distinguish wilful misconduct and negligent misconduct]

DA Sentenced: A Look at Prosecutorial Misconduct Cases
[6:45 mins.] [lawyers discussion prosecutional misconduct following the downfall of Ken Anderson in the Michael Morton case]

John Thompson: After Innocence from WUNC--The Story
[2:37 mins.]

Prosecutorial Oversight: John Thompson and his fight for justice
[6:51 mins.]

Epidemic of Prosecutorial Crimes, Misconduct, and Unaccountability
[7:35 mins.] [Huffington Post Live]

Supreme Court Oral Argument in Connick v. Thompson
[1:01:13 mins.] [audio with transcription] [Respondent counsel's argument begins at 27:12 mins.] [Supreme Court opinion]

Michael Kiefer, a Journalist, Talking about Prosecutorial Misconduct in Arizona
[26:01 mins.] [The interview of Kiefer begins at 1:33 mins. and ends at 10:32 mins.]

Prosecutorial Oversight: A National Dialogue in the Wake of Connick v. Thompson
[1:57:11 mins.] [on the failure to sanction prosecutors for their misconduct, see the Emily West presentation (West is the Research Director of the Innocence Project in New York); the West presentation begins at 31:24 mins to 38:24 mins.] [Michael Morton makes a presentation that begins at 23:34 mins. and ends at 29:06 mins.]

Videos: Prosecutorial Misconduct

Katie Couric commenting on the USA Today series on prosecutor's misconduct
[1:05 mins.]

The System: Prosecutorial Misconduct
[46:29 mins.] [Joe Berlinger, documentary filmmaker; Al Jazeera] [focus on the Brooklyn DA's office]

Prosecutorial Misconduct 101
[9:11 mins.] [begins with reference to Duke Lacrosse case] [primary focus is the Ted Stevens case]

Prosecutorial Misconduct: Attorney Brendan Sullivan Interview
[9:58 mins.] [commenting on prosecutorial misconduct in the Ted Stevens case]

Launch of the Prosecutorial Oversight Tour [1:11:32 mins.] [for in class presentation, skip the John Thompson presentation 16:08 mins to 24:50 mins.] [video showing in class can end at 1:01:08 mins.]

Prosecutorial Ethics: The Role of the Brady Rule
[1:37:01 mins.] [Case Western University Law School Symposium. Speakers: Professor Lewis R. Katz, Professor Kevin C. McMunigal, Judge Ben C. Green Professor, Professor John G. Douglass, Scott Roger Hurley (public defender)
Pt2 [1:15:28 mins.] [Professor Paul C. Giannelli, Professor Peter A. Joy, Jonathan Leiken] Pt3 [1:04:00 mins.][Barry Scheck, Director, Innocence Project] [Scheck's presentation begins at 1:42 mins.]

Prosecutorial Misconduct
[1:33:21 mins.] [panel discussion; opening comments by Judge Merrick Garland]

DA Unashamed Of Wrongful Death Row Convictions
[5:20 mins.] [North Carolina]

Lane Tolbert on the wrongful conviction and exoneration of Frank Sealie
[16:05 mins.]

Lecture: Daniel Medwed
[1:15:25 mins.] [Daniel Medwed is the author of Prosecution Complex: America's Race to Convict and Its Impact on the Innocent (New York: New York University Press, 2012), explores how prosecutors contribute to wrongful convictions because of cognitive biases and an overly-deferential regime of legal and ethical rules.]

Supplemental Cases

Joe D'Ambrosio

Joe D'Ambrosio: Life After Death Row
[5:32 mins.] [One.For.Ten., narrated by Damien Echols] [prosecutorial misconduct]

Jonathan Fleming

Jonathan Fleming: Conviction Overturned
[1:01 mins.]

Jonathan Fleming Released After 24 Years
[1:48 mins.]

Wrongful Imprisonment Injustice: Conviction Review Cases Pile-Up In Brooklyn
[3:37 mins.] [DA failed to disclose exculpatory evidence to the defense]

The Sick, Twisted Reason This Man Lost 24 Years Of His Life
[5:56 mins.]

Helping a Man Exonerated
[2:05 mins.]

Man Wrongly Convicted Must Get Justice!
[7:52 mins.]

Wrongfully Convicted Man Sues For $162 Million
[1:11 mins.]

Eric Glisson

Eric Glisson falls victim to US injustice
[2:50 mins.]

Feds Say Eric Glisson Was Wrongly Imprisoned
[3:02 mins.]

NYC Prosecutors not punished but promoted for misconduct against innocent
[3:43 mins.]

Home For Christmas: Wrongly Convicted Home After 17 Years
[7:45 mins.]

"My Life As . . . " with Eric Glisson and Peter Gross
[1:16:31 mins.]

Antonio "Nino" Lyons

Antonio "Nino" Lyons
[8:05 mins.] [prosecutorial misconduct & use of informants]

Neil Miller

Miscarrage of Justice
[14:00 mins.] Pt2 [14:20 mins.] Pt3 [13:31 mins.] [prosecutorial misconduct]

Daniel Wade Moore

Judge Speaks Out
[4:10 mins.] [prosecutorial misconduct]

David Tipton talks about the murder of his wife
[2:03 mins.]

Debra Milke

Debra Milke
[2:25 mins.] [death row conviction overturned; failure to disclose detective's misconduct to the defense]

Debra Milke released
[2:23 mins.]

Debra Milke Hearing
[24:18 mins.][September 23, 2013]

Debra Milke Hearing
[36:20 mins.][December 13, 2013]

Daniel Taylor

The Story of Daniel Taylor
[6:04 mins.]

Daniel Taylor
[1:57 mins.] [first year of freedom]

Ralph Tortorici Case

Ralph Tortorici Case
[The PBS Frontline file for Tortorici--printed out--is 150+ pages. There is no pressing need for you to read the entire file.] [To access the various files: first, follow the "The Story of Ralph Tortorici" link; at the next screen you will find links to--"An Overview," "A Son and a Brother," "A Well-Documented History of Mental Illness," "Letter to Prosecution from Dr. Lawrence Siegel," "The Defense's Summation," "The Prosecution's Summation," "Interviews." Following each of these links you will find, in some instances, still further links.]

Cheryl Coleman (Prosecutor) Interview

Larry Wiest (Prosecutor) Interview

Trial Court Judge Larry Rosen Interview

Todd Willingham Case

New Allegations of Prosecutorial Misconduct Revealed in Willingham Case
[Innocence Project]

Duke Lacross Case (Mike Nifong)

Mike Nifong: Case Study

CBS News: Ed Bradley on the Duke Lacrosse Case
[5:18 mins.]

Presumed Guilty: Due Process Lessons of the Duke Lacrosse Case
[12:39 mins.]

Glenn Ford Case: Prosecutor Who Expresses Regret in a Wrongful Conviction Case

Louisiana death row inmate freed after nearly 30 years behind bars
[1:00 mins.]

Glenn Ford Released
[1:49 mins.]

Glenn Ford Released After 25 Years Of Death Row
[3:01 mins.]

Innocent Man On Death Row Released After 30 Years
[7:15 mins.]

Louisiana Man Glenn Ford Released From Prison After 26 Years For A Murder He Did Not Commit! [4:17 mins.]

Louisiana Denies Compensation to Dying Exonerated Death Row Prisoner as Former Prosecutor Apologizes [14:24 mins.] [Democracy Now]

Exonerated Death Row Inmate Meets Prosecutors Who Put Him There
[8:44 mins.] [ABC News]

Marty Stroud, Prosecutor Who Put Innocent Man On Death Row 'Whole System Is Fatally Flawed'
[5:56 mins.][Al Sharpton, Politics Nation]

Innocent Man Spent That 31 Years On Death Row Meets Prosecutor Who Put Him There!
[7:08 mins.] [prosecutor expresses regret for his handling of the case]

“Marty” Stroud III on the wrongful conviction and exoneration of Glenn Ford
[16:56 mins.]

The Best Apology EVER?
[9:06 mins.]

Prosecutors: Work and Mindset

Prosecutors: Thinking Inside and Outside the Box

How to Become a Prosecutor
Julie Reynolds, DC Bar

Basic Trial Techniques for Prosecutors
American Prosecutors Research Institute

Ptrosecutors Become Defense Lawyers
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (April 25, 2009)

Justice and Prosecutorial Misconduct
New York Times, December 28, 2011 [Exonerated of Murder, Texan Seeks Inquiry on Prosecutor]

Memorandum Issued for DOJ Litigators Handling Criminal Matters
Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice, January 4, 2010 [Guidance for Prosecutors Regarding Criminal Discovery]

Craig Watkins on Preventing Wrongful Convictions
[5:57 mins.]

Web Resources

Government Misconduct
[Innocence Project]

Harmful Error: Investigating America's Local Prosecutors
[Center for Public Intregity]

Exonerated Defendants: Cases Involving Prosecutorial Misconduct
[Center for Public Intregity]

Resources and Case Studies
[resources collected by James R. Elkins for a course on Prosecutorial Misconduct]

Police, Prosecutorial and Judicial Misconduct

Allegations of prosecutorial misconduct in Butler County

The Prosecution's Case Against DNA

The 2011 Worst Prosecutor of the Year Award

An Empirical Survey (California): Preventable Error: A Report on Prosecutorial Misconduct in California 1997-2009 || 2010 Update of the California Study

Federal Prosecutors: Policies and Procedures

U.S. Attorney's Manual: Criminal

The Independece of Federal Prosecutors
Panel, Federalist Society's Criminal Law Practice Group presented this panel at the 2007 Annual National Lawyers Convention, November 15, 2007 [YouTube video; 1:27 mins.] [Panel discussing relationship of White House to Main Justice, and Main Justice to U.S. Attorney's office]

Federal Government Prosecutors' Misconduct: Failure to Disclose Evidence

Justice and Prosecutorial Misconduct
New York Times, December 28, 2011 [Exonerated of Murder, Texan Seeks Inquiry on Prosecutor]

Memorandum Issued for DOJ Litigators Handling Criminal Matters
Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice, January 4, 2010 [Guidance for Prosecutors Regarding Criminal Discovery]

AUSA Misconduct

Boston AUSA Faces Judicial Panel Regarding Alleged Misconduct
January 22, 2010

Mass. Judge Considers Sanctions Against Asst. USA
May 12, 2009 [Federal prosecutor admits mistake, begs for leniency]

Prosecutorial Misconduct in Patrick Fitzgerald's Office? Yes, Says Judge Wall Street Journal, August 28, 2009 [Crime and Federalism Blog]

Prosecutorial Misconduct for AUSA to Introduce "extensive evidence" of Uncharged Drug Use and Transactions 3rd Circuit Blog

Caught on Tape: Prosecution Secretly Records Defense Counsel, Raising Questions About Prevalence of Governmental Misconduct and Remedies

Prosecutor + Misconduct = ?

The Strauss-Kahn Case

I.M.F. Chief, Apprehended at Airport, Is Accused of Sexual Attack New York Times, May 14, 2011

Police Seek Evidence From I.M.F. Chief on Sex Attack
New York Times, May 16, 2011

The Strauss-Kahn Case: Follow the Evidence, Not Immunity Rules The Atlantic, May 16, 2011

Letter from District Attorney to Defense
July 1, 201l

Five Ways to Think About The Times' Strauss-Kahn Story
The Atlantic


Prosecutor-Police Relations

Prosecutors Target Northwestern Journalism Students Exonerating Wrongfully Convicted Prisoners [9:53 mins.]