Persecuting Prosecutor


(permanent link) added: 2011-06-07 22:03:44 sponsor: Johnnytherock (last reply: 2013-11-03 05:17:59)

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A subtype of the Amoral Attorney, a prosecutor who will do anything and everything in order to secure a conviction, regardless of justice, the law, or basic human decency.

  • In some cases, Real Life prosecutors have an incredible amount of leeway in what they can do in their capacity as advocates for the state (in some cases extending to outright immunity, though this does not typically extend to administrative or investigative activities). In some jurisdictions, said prosecutors have arguably taken unfair advantage of this leeway.
    • One particular case was a man named John Thompson who was wrongfully convicted of murder and sentenced to die; several prosecutors concealed exculpatory evidence in spite of case law mandating that they disclose it. He was freed from prison once this was revealed, and wound up suing the district attorney of Orleans Parish, Harry Connick, Sr., for failing to properly train his attorneys; both the District Court and Court of Appeals ruled in his favor (and in the case of the District Court, he had been awarded $14 million--one for each year on death row--by the jury; the judge added an additional $1 million to the judgment), but was unfortunately denied by the Supreme Court in a controversial 5-4 decision.
  • In Phoenix Wright (at least the first one), many of the prosecutors will do whatever it takes to win. Winston Payne being the most readily available exception, though not for lack of trying.
  • Cornelius Fudge in the fifth Harry Potter book is a combination of both this and a Hanging Judge. At Harry's disciplinary hearing for using underage magic, Fudge unsuccessfully tries (it is implied) to mislead Harry's defense counsel as to the time and location of the hearing so that he'll miss it, refuses to let Harry testify in his own defense, and does everything he can to discredit both Harry and the one witness who does testify on Harry's behalf.
  • The sixth season Matlock episode "The Foursome" features young and confident deputy DA Lauren Richmond, who has spent years studying Matlock's cases and uses her knowledge of his methods to deal him a surprising defeat at trial. That is, until her boss at the DA's office discovers that she planted several pieces of key evidence against Matlock's client to ensure a conviction, because she was convinced he was guilty and wanted to make sure Matlock couldn't Pull the Thread to get the guy off.
  • On Law & Order, Jack Mc Coy nearly crossed this line to bring down a drunk driver, because he lost a lover to a drunk driver.
  • On Suits it is revealed that Harvey used to work for a District Attorney like this. When Harvey realized this, he quit and went into private practice as a corporate attorney. This comes back to haunt Harvey years later when the DA is investigated and Harvey finds out that the DA's actions caused Harvey to convict an innocent man.
  • In season two of Harry's Law Harry is defending a man accused of murder in a high profile trial. The District Attorney is prosecuting the case herself and is shown to be using many dirty tricks to secure a conviction. Harry will have none of that and when she beats the DA on an important motion, the DA starts a personal vendetta against Harry with having Harry arrested being just the opening salvo.

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