What will it take to produce honest and ethical conduct from our state and federal prosecutors? The Ninth Circuit has a suggestion. Perhaps a perjury prosecution will do it. In fact, that is exactly what should happen when prosecutors affirmatively lie.
This case, Baca v. Adams, involves a clear violation of the Supreme Court’s decision in Napue, which holds that prosecutors cannot put on perjured testimony, much less lie themselves. Unfortunately, as I’ve documented elsewhere, it happens far too often, when it should never happen at all.
A magistrate and the California Court of Appeal found that California
deputy district attorney Spira lied under oath, testifying against a
criminal defendant and in support of a lying “jailhouse snitch” who was
placed on the witness stand in apparent subornation of perjury. Making
matters worse, the California Attorney General fought “tooth and nail”
to keep the transcript of the relevant hearing from the California Court
The Ninth Circuit is going to do something about it, including naming
names–if the California Attorney General does not–and the court strongly
suggests that the lying prosecutor himself be prosecuted for perjury.
The entire video of the oral argument is available to watch here, and it begins to draw blood about 17 minutes into it. Be sure to watch until the end.
I'm watching the video. The bastard defending the office and the prosecutors involved is trying every way he can to call 'lying under oath' something else. 'Mistaken', 'in error', anything he can think of. And why there was no internal discipline? "I don't know."
We do. And we're sick of it.