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Will the US Supreme Court let them get away with it?
Those convictions would likely have not been possible but for the testimony of a forensic lab manager who, it turns out, cheated on his certification test. were charged with the 1992 rape of 17-year-old Leslie Murphy and her murder and that of 14-year-old Stephen Neighbors.
Disciplining or firing miscreants may be necessary, but it's not enough: It doesn't address the root causes of fearful culture and bad incentives.
A USA TODAY investigation documented 201 criminal cases across the nation in which federal judges found that prosecutors broke the rules.
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.