Prosecutors under scrutiny are seldom disciplined (Part 2/4)

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Here’s part 2 of Michael Keifer’s new series, which highlights & fully details countless instances of prosecutorial misconduct in AZ over the past 11 years… where winning is invariably far more important than the truth.

Kudos to Michael Keifer for his highlighting of this issue too. He’s already taking flak on his Twitter account from delusional pedo-huggers & people with a necrophilia fetish… and long may it continue. After all, everyone else’s fuck-ups get highlighted. Why should prosecutors fuck-ups be treated any different?

You can keep up with all Michael’s tweets right here in his Twitter page.

Kermit’s antics will be featured in Part 3, tomorrow. Should be interesting.

Here’s the latest installment:

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Prosecutors under scrutiny are seldom disciplined (Part 2/4)
by Michael Kiefer:

[hdplay id=247 width=500 height=300]

“Richard Wintory was Arizona Prosecutor of the Year in 2007. Wintory had spent 20 years as an assistant district attorney in Oklahoma, another seven in the Pima County Attorney’s Office, and by 2010 had moved on to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, where he continued to try criminal cases, especially death-penalty cases.

Now he is chief deputy in the Pinal County Attorney’s Office.

He is also the focus of an investigation by the State Bar of Arizona because a Pima County Superior Court judge referred him to the State Bar of Arizona for improper contact with a member of a murder suspect’s defense team.

Prosecutors are frequently accused of misconduct during criminal cases, and even if a trial judge or a court of appeals agrees that they acted badly, it rarely affects the conviction or sentence of the trial defendants.

Wintory calls himself an “impassioned” attorney; others might say he pushes the envelope.

“In the 30 years I’ve been a prosecutor, I’ve had many people file complaints and lawsuits against me, but I’ve never been disciplined,” he said.

In Arizona, prosecutor misconduct is alleged in half of all capital cases that end in death sentences.

Half the time, the Arizona Supreme Court agrees that misconduct occurred in those instances, but it rarely throws out a conviction or sentence because of it.

The Arizona Republic reviewed all of the Arizona Supreme Court opinions on death sentences going back to 2002.

Of 82 cases statewide, prosecutorial misconduct was alleged on appeal by defense attorneys in 42 and the court found improprieties or outright misconduct in 18 instances. But only two of those death sentences were reversed because of the improprieties, and only two prosecutors were disciplined.

The offenses varied in seriousness from excessive sarcasm and vouching for the sincerity of witnesses to introducing false testimony and failing to disclose evidence that might have helped the defendant.

But overwhelmingly, even when misconduct was found, the high court determined that it was “harmless error.”

The most serious examples did not appear in those cases because the misconduct caused a mistrial or the prosecution offered a favorable plea agreement to avoid mistrial, as in Wintory’s case.

It is rare for prosecutors to be referred to the Bar for misconduct, let alone be disciplined by the Bar or sanctioned by trial judges. And whether Wintory will be disciplined remains to be seen…….”


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Leave your thoughts & comments below.

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  1. I think I’m first again 🙂
    Keep ’em coming!
    These are real eye openers!
    Alas, justice is in short supply in America nowadays. Prosecutors are sometimes bad guys.

    • The prosecution has too much lattiude.
      The age-old question is escecially pertinent: who will police the police?
      Disbarrent is no punishment at all, it’s like a slap on the wrist for them, it’s not commensurate at all with the kind of damage they do, prison time is a condign punishment! Throw rotten prosecutors in a state prison for many years, let them rot there, put them in general population, let the inmates sort them out!

    • Also the double-standard is palpable – if a prosecutor helps wrongfully sentence you to death, it’s called “being impassionate”. If somebody else makes an attempt at your life, it’s called “attempted murder”.

      It’s been on my mind for a long time – if a prosecutor is criminally overstepping his boudaries (and thus breaking the law), then he should be at least prosecuted for either attempted murder (in capital cases) or for false imprisonment (in other cases).

  2. This is encouraging:

    “According to an Arizona Supreme Court opinion, the state Bar investigation into his conduct found that Zawada’s “misconduct included (a) appeals to fear by the jury if (the defendant) was not convicted, (b) disrespect for and prejudice against mental health experts that led to harassment and insults during cross-examination, and (c) improper argument to the jury.”

    The Supreme Court justices thought that Zawada’s behavior was so egregious that it threw out the murder conviction and attached double jeopardy so that the alleged killer could not be retried.”

    Doesn’t that sound exactly like Martinez behavior in this case?

    • Down to a tee!
      Zawada is like Martinez’s doppleganger !
      Damn how I wish they would overthrow Jodi’s conviction due to prosecutorial misconduct.
      Matrinez is like a rabid mutt, yells and foams at the mouth. He thinks “evidence-shmevidence, I am the law.”
      Jodi nailed it: “He who attempts to establish his point by much yelling shows that his reasoning is weak”.

    • Journee, it sounds exactly like kermit! Wtf??? Do they have a ‘how to be an asshole corrupted prosecutor’ instructions manual they read in shitzona???

  3. Very interesting and eye opening read. The Prosecutors are in reality the worst criminals in the court room. Lying and cheating and getting convictions illegally and rarely if ever having to answer for it. Why be fair or seek the truth when all that matters is winning and doing so anyway possible is ok in Arizona and I suppose every other state but Arizona seem to have more than it’s share of corrupt Prosecutors.

  4. I don’t understand how ANY one could be okay with this. What if it was you or one of your friends or family members being railroaded by Arizona Justice?
    Makes me hate it more than I already do what is happening with Jodi. It’ll be real interesting reading about Juan Martinez the rock star tomorrow.

  5. Fair and sympathetic article on Jodi by Lise Lasalle on Twitter. Not sure if I know how to post article. If this doesn’t work, perhaps someone can bring article here.

        • Thank you for sharing it, cold case!

          I’m wondering if I dare to share it in places where it might not be as well received. There are a few at HuffPo (very few :-{ ) who *respectfully* disagree with me but check out links I provide or information I put forth…. have even backed me up a few times, lol.

          hmmm…. maybe

            • I saw that to she did not keep it just like me in FL case defense wanted me in were the woman burned her home for the money and I found a note left behind in the hotel room they stayed in I was the manager and housekeeper it talked about going to the some nice vacation place

            • haha, no I don’t think it’s evil twin… I think this is a very well thought out and relatively -um, innocuous? article. It rightly takes the media to task, but maybe goes easier on the folks who were duped by them?

              I don’t know. Do you think that the few reasonable minds over there would find it inflammatory?

            • Oh, they’ve been there all along – actually, most of the ones left are just the die-hards who’ve had all summer with nothing to do but construct new fantasies about Jodi and Nurmi and Willmott and LaViolette.

              The pro-Jodi/anti-prosecution side used to have a *few* more supporters, but never many. There’s still one that pops in every week or so, and anytime a new story breaks a couple of people will weigh in as anti-prosecution (but not necessarily pro-Jodi.)

              But, as I said, there are a couple of people I can converse with over there who, while they still maintain Jodi’s guilt, have come to see that some of the ‘evidence’ against her was never evidence of anything. Baby steps.

    • Thank you for this article coldcase and Journee!
      It feels so good to see that people are gradually starting to see the truth assessing and evaluating the evidence and facts objectively.

  6. “He’s already taking flak on his Twitter account from delusional pedo-huggers & people with a necrophilia fetish…”

    SJ, did you actually believe he wouldn’t be attacked??? You know how many sick f*cks are out there!

    After watching part 2 I am shocked knowing that this corruption is well known and nobody has done anything about it!

    Can’t wait for part 3 & 4!!!

    (((((cyber family)))))
    ((((((SJ & Admins)))))

    • I’ve never been to AZ (and sure don’t plan on going there now!), but I get the feeling – largely from a lot of the talk that comes out of there – that a good bit of the mentality we see (the tolerance of crooked prosecutors and the likes of sheriff Joe) comes from the fact that Arizona seems to see itself as under siege by illegal aliens and drug cartels. And they may well be, like I said, I don’t live there. Maybe they feel justified in pushing the boundaries of legality in the courtroom and jailhouse because they feel they’re on their own in dealing with this ‘enemy’.

      • Where is the United States Supreme Court in all of this? It doesn’t have to end with the Arizona Supreme Court. It really is murder. They are making up stories and pointing murder judgments on the wrong people. Martinez slams his own culture because of whatever is going on there illegally. Then he jumps in bed with the Mormons. He is saying his people are the bad people and the Mormons are the good people and he will prove it. He is over compensating. It is a psychiatric illness. There is no logic. He is just trying to prove he belongs. It is his personal problem!!!!. This is not a reason to but the people he prosecutes on Death Row!

  7. I am impatiently looking forward for part 3! Let’s see what Kiefer has to say about Martinez! I pray he’ll be relentless 😉 All these stats and facts that are being revealed are just so unbelievably disturbing.

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