Borrowed from the Bluhm blog . . . we cite these examples both to give credit to Prosecutors who do the right thing and to make you aware of what the Bluhm blog is about, in case you haven't yet visited it. You will find the link on the right hand side, under Links to Other Sites.
But stories of prosecutors who do the right thing are not given enough attention. Here are two such stories worthy of telling. One of the most gruesome murders in New Mexico's history is known as the Torreon Cabin murders, named after the spot where the bodies of four people (2 adults and 2 children) were discovered. Police eventually arrested four men and charged them with the crime in May of 1996. Only two were convicted, including Lawrence Nieto, who confessed on videotape to being present when the crime was committed. Now, ten years after Nieto's conviction, a television reporter has discovered and aired a missing videotape of Nieto's interrogation. This tape, which was not produced to the defense, shows police officers browbeating Nieto into confessing, suggesting crime facts to Nieto, and other standard, but routinely denied by officers in court, tactics. In this case, the District Attorney, when showed the tape, agreed to a new trial for Nieto. The prosecutor is Mark Pickering the Assistant DA from Torrance County.
A second story is also worth viewing. It involves the confession of Robert Green, man who confessed to a string of arsons in Indiana. Prosecutor Helen Marchal told reporters that she could not file charges against Green because an arson case requires three things: proof that it was an intentional fire, proof there was a motive and proof there was an opportunity. "And in this particular case, at this time, we can only prove one thing -- that there was an intentional fire," said Marchal. Many prosecutors, with a confession in hand, would have filed arson charges against Mr. Green. But this prosecutor, citing her ethical obligation to pursue only those charges which can be proven in court, is holding off until physical evidence can be tied to the suspect.