Monday, February 26, 2007

Involuntary Manslaughter in the Amero Case?

That's the question that I ask myself as I read the transcript of the Amero case found here. Some of my colleagues compare the prosecutor to [expletive deleted] for the alleged disregard he had for exculpatory evidence that he allegedly chose to exclude from the trial.

Assuming David Smith's alleged disregard for evidence favorable to Julie Amero's innocence, does it make any sense to pursue the charge of mere prosecutorial misconduct when in fact Julie Amero's miscarriage can be, in no small part, attributed to the pursuit of trying a woman while allegedly knowing that the complete body of evidence proved no crime. Now, I'm no lawyer but if prosecutorial misconduct is to be taken seriously then the judiciary needs to examine this case carefully. A life was lost! Shouldn't those responsible be charged with involuntary manslaughter?

What do you think? What if it were your kid?

There are two problems with alleging prosecutorial misconduct. One is that the charge is usually sought to throw out a guilty verdict. There is enough dirty laundry in the Amero trial, IMO, to render this a mistrial under any circumstance. The mountain of misinformation fed to the jury and the failure of the jury to establish a mens rea to match the charges is compelling enough.

But the bigger problem is that a charge of prosecutorial misconduct rarely results in even a slap on the wrist. Maybe it is time for the judicial branch to take its own crimes as seriously as it takes everyone else's.

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1 comment:

Rob d. said...

Hi Frank,
The "Full download" of the trial transcripts consisted of a decidedly unfriendly, un-quotable and excessively large PDF. I have run that PDF document through an OCR program. The resultant textual version of the transcript may be a little more accessible (only ~350 Kb) and is definitely searchable. The text version can be downloaded here:

For those who download this, please remember that optical recognition is not an exact science - there may be some minor errors present in this version, but I've tried to keep them to a minimum.