Posts tagged ‘Williamson County’

Mind of the Prosecutor

All I can say is, Eek!

Back in 2007, the Grits for Breakfast blog noted that Williamson County, Texas, District Attorney John Bradley gave some curious advice on a discussion board to another prosecutor. The other prosecutor was asking about how to construct a plea agreement in a way that would forfeit any future right to DNA testing. Bradley responded, “Innocence, though, has proven to trump most anything.” How unfortunate! He then added:

A better approach might be to get a written agreement that all the evidence can be destroyed after the conviction and sentence. Then, there is nothing to test or retest. Harris County regularly seeks such agreements.

We give prosecutors strong incentives to take away people's freedom and put them in jail.  Guilt or innocence is not part of their incentives, only closing cases and locking people away.  Given these incentives, we should be particularly careful to circumscribe their behavior.  In reality, we give them a virtual free pass.  Prosecutors are almost never held accountable for even the most abusive and illegal behavior.