PM – First Annual Report: Preventable Error – Prosecutorial Misconduct in California 2010

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In October 2010, the Veritas Intiative published a ground-breaking report on prosecutorial misconduct: Preventable Error: A Report on Prosecutorial Misconduct in California 1997–2009 (hereinafter Preventable Error: 1997–2009).

This comprehensive study of judicial court findings detailed more than 700 cases of prosecutorial misconduct in California. The report analyzed how the justice system identifies and addresses prosecutorial misconduct and its cost and consequences, including the wrongful conviction of innocent people. The study revealed how those best positioned to address the problem—the state and federal courts, prosecutors and the California State Bar repeatedly had failed to do so.

This follow-up report details court findings of prosecutorial misconduct in 2010 and updates statistical data statewide dating back to 1997.

These findings ranged from egregious misconduct, such as concealing evidence favorable to a defendant, to reckless or unintentional misconduct that in some was ameliorated at trial by judicial admonition or a special jury instruction.