Prosecutors Can’t Be Trusted: The Untouchables of the Legal System
In a shocking revelation, a federal prosecutor has been fired after recordings were discovered of him illegally listening to conversations between opposing attorneys. This development serves as further proof that prosecutors are not to be trusted and often operate above the law. It is a rare occurrence for a court to hold a prosecutor accountable for their misconduct, as they are seemingly protected by a system that values their high conviction rates over justice.
The lack of integrity and ethics within the prosecutorial system is not a new phenomenon. The New York Times itself published an article titled “Rampant Prosecutorial Misconduct,” acknowledging the prevalence of wrongdoing within the profession. This is a significant admission, given the reputation of the Times as a reputable news source.
One particularly alarming case involves a mafia defendant who requested his phone call recordings while in prison. Instead of receiving his own conversations, he was given recordings of a witness who would testify against him. In these recordings, the defendant is heard speaking with the prosecutor, who asks him to testify against an individual he claims not to know. The prosecutor assures him that with preparation, he will become intimately familiar with this person. Despite the defendant submitting these tapes as evidence of prosecutorial misconduct, the judge refused to allow them to be heard by the jury, citing a violation in a separate case.
Instances of prosecutorial abuse are far too common. For example, a 23-year-old was charged with conspiracy for simply pointing out someone’s location when asked. The prosecutor even went as far as seeking the death penalty, a punishment rarely pursued in New York City. These examples only scratch the surface of the numerous cases where prosecutors have exhibited unethical behavior.
One of the most shocking cases involving prosecutorial misconduct is that of Joseph Salvati, who was wrongfully convicted and spent decades in prison. The Boston jury awarded him $102 million in damages, highlighting the prosecutors’ knowledge that they were convicting an innocent man. Yet, despite violating Salvati’s civil rights, these prosecutors remained immune from criminal prosecution.
Jack McCullough’s case further emphasizes the corrupt nature of the prosecutorial system. He was sentenced to life in prison in 1957, only to be released in 2016 when a judge ruled that the SEC courts established by Roosevelt were unconstitutional. It is troubling that the government ignored this ruling and deprived an innocent man of his freedom for decades.
Another example of prosecutorial misconduct involves Edwin Paul Wilson, a former CIA and U.S. Naval Intelligence officer. The CIA denied any association with Wilson when he was caught illegally selling weapons to Libya. However, evidence later proved that the Department of Justice and the CIA had covered up crucial information in his case. Despite being exonerated, Wilson’s civil suit against the prosecutors was dismissed due to their immunity from accountability.
The lack of consequences for prosecutors who abuse their power is deeply concerning. Most judges have former prosecution backgrounds, making it highly unlikely for defendants to receive fair treatment in court. Even when an honest judge attempts to intervene, their decisions are often overturned by corrupt higher courts. The chilling effect of this corruption is evident in the cold, emotionless eyes of prosecutors and judges who seem to have lost their sense of humanity in the pursuit of convictions.
The Supreme Court’s ruling in Imbler v. Pachtman has exacerbated the issue of prosecutorial misconduct by granting prosecutors immunity for their actions. This decision reflects the alarming reality that prosecutors operate with impunity, protected by a system that prioritizes their interests over justice.
History has repeatedly shown that those in power will act in their self-interest, perpetuating systemic injustices. Thrasymachus’ warning to Socrates echoed this sentiment, leading to Socrates’ death and Plato’s decision to flee Athens. The ongoing prevalence of prosecutorial misconduct reinforces the urgent need for reform within the legal system.
Prosecutors must be held accountable for their deliberate actions, as the current state of affairs undermines the very concept of justice. As long as the government has a monopoly on criminal actions, it will continue to shield its own from prosecution, hiding behind the claim of following orders. Real change can only occur when the public demands an end to the untouchability of prosecutors and demands a legal system that values justice above all else.