PM – Second Annual Report: Preventable Error Prosecutorial Misconduct in California 2011

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In October 2010, the the Northern California Innocence Project’s (NCIP) Veritas Initiative published the ground-breaking report: Preventable Error: A Report on Prosecutorial Misconduct in California 1997–20091 (hereinafter Preventable Error: 1997–2009), the most extensive statewide study of prosecutorial misconduct ever conducted.

This comprehensive study of judicial court findings detailed more than 700 cases of prosecutorial misconduct in California over a span of 13 years. The report included an analysis of how the California justice system identifies and addresses prosecutorial misconduct in this state and its cost and consequences, including the wrongful conviction of innocent people in those years. The study revealed that those best positioned to address the problem—the state and federal courts, prosecutors and the California State Bar—have repeatedly failed to do so.

Since the initial publication of Preventable Error: 1997-2009, NCIP’s Veritas Initiative has continued to document prosecutorial misconduct in California, first through the 2010 annual report and now through this 2011 annual report.

It is the intention of NCIP’s Veritas Initiative to continue to document and report annually on incidents of prosecutorial misconduct and the accountability of prosecutors as part of its mission to advance the integrity of our justice system through continuing research and data-driven reform.