Prosecutorial Misconduct

Prosecutorial misconduct is any courtroom behavior on the part of the prosecutor that violates trial rules and denies defendants their right to due process. Examples of misconduct may include making unfair or improper comments about the defendant, defense counsel, or a defense witness; suppressing, tampering with, or fabricating evidence; or making material misstatements regarding law or fact. The legal and psychological importance of examining prosecutorial misconduct is its potential to induce a jury to consider improper factors during the decision-making process.

Legal scholars contend that prosecutorial misconduct often occurs because of the prosecutor's quest to secure a conviction. In doing so, prosecutors compromise impartiality by using improper methods to establish guilt—for example, inappropriately inferring guilt from a defendant's silence. Although higher courts consistently express disapproval ...

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