There is this wrong-headed notion in Virginia that, if we could just get better paid criminal defense lawyers with more administrative and investigative resources, that we would have criminal justice in Virginia.
That’s just not the case.
Assuring the Accused of a decent defense in Virginia is but a small part of the failure of our so-called criminal justice system.
We are convicting innocent people in Virginia because of false eye-witness testimony, false confessions, over-eager snitches, faulty forensics, true, some bad defense lawyers, but also, and this is the worst of all, because of prosecutorial misconduct and police misconduct.
In this last category, what we often mean by misconduct is that the government is concealing or destroying evidence that is exclusively within its possession that demonstrates, or tends to demonstrate, that the Accused is innocent, or his accusers are not reliable, or the sentence excessive. Continue reading