The articles in The News & Observer and The Chicago Tribune have a common theme -- Prosecutors who break the rules go unpunished. Indeed, they are often rewarded with promotions, even being appointed judges.
In one exoneration, however, someone at least attempted to make the prosecutors criminally responsible. Rolando Cruz and Alejandro Hernandez were wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death for the 1983 kidnaping, rape, and murder of 10-year-old Jeanine Nicarico in DuPage County, Illinois. Click here to read the details.
In the aftermath of the Cruz trial, a special grand jury indicted four sheriff's deputies and three former prosecutors for their roles in the Cruz case. Charges included perjury and obstruction of justice. Although a DuPage County jury acquitted these men of those charges, the County later agreed to pay $3.5 million to settle the civil rights claims that Cruz, Hernandez, and Stephen Buckley (a third defendant who had been charged in the crime) had filed in federal court.
DuPage County was punished for the misconduct, but not the 3 prosecutors who knowingly convicted innocent men.