Prosecutorial Misconduct

Preventable Error: A Report on Prosecutorial Misconduct in California 1997-2009, the inaugural study of the Veritas Initiative focuses on this extremely critical issue. The most comprehensive statewide study ever undertaken on the misconduct of public prosecutors in state and federal courts, the authors examine over 4,000 cases in California during the period from 1997 to 2009 in which prosecutorial misconduct was alleged. Research determined extensive and systemic failures on the part of the justice system in meeting its obligations.

Findings include: Courts found prosecutors committed misconduct in nearly 700 cases and only six prosecutors were publicly disciplined by the California State Bar. The study also revealed that judges often failed to report misconduct to the State Bar despite having a legal obligation to do so. The complete report, including data-driven recommendations for reform can be found here.