Victor Hugo’s play of 1862 Les Misérables includes a plot and some major characters such as Jean Valjean, Javert & Enjolras that mirror in many ways the nonsense, judicial miscarriage and malfeasance that have occurred in the land of Water, Wealth, Contentment and Health. Right down to the prosecutional obsession-at-all-costs (the law or rights of the defendant be dammed).
Dramatic opening, I admit – however if it was YOU or a family member that sat in a hopeless prison cell for 17 months while the entire time mounds of exculpatory evidence were withheld, YOU would agree with the dramatic nature of this miscarriage of justice by the privileged holiday-taking District attorney who would rather those in her sights just eat cake.
The government has a duty to preserve evidence it collects during criminal investigations and prosecutions. This duty exists in order to protect a defendant’s rights to due process and a fair trial under the Sixth and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The duty relates to the requirement that the government disclose evidence it will use against the defendant at trial, as well as any evidence that is favorable to the defendant. The duty to preserve evidence begins once any state agency or actor has gathered and taken possession of evidence as part of a criminal investigation
Regardless as to where you sit in this matter, consider yourself in any matter where you are on the opposite side of a prosecutor’s office who even when warned by a Judge on August 31st warned the prosecution about intentionally withholding evidence in the Korey Kauffman murder case did nothing. Fast forward to December 10, 2014, another victim of Birgit Fladager , A.J. Pontillo was found innocent of all charges. During the trial Birgit was caught withholding exculpatory evidence that showed he was innocent.
It continues on… before Christmas the Grand Inquisitor’s office was forced to admit “While auditing discovery in this case, one of our investigators located some audio recordings that may or may not have been provided within the previous 1,000 disks discovered to the defense, and Frank Carlson, Baljit Athwal, Daljit Atwal, and Walter Wells were set free.
There is a saying amongst pest inspectors – if you flick on a light and see a bug on the kitchen floor, you can be sure there are hundreds in the walls.