Willie L Jones
University of Phoenix
Prosecutorial misconduct is defined as the use of deceptive, illegal or reprehensible methods used by a prosecutor, to attempt to persuade either the court or the jury. Wrongful convictions in this country are nothing new to the criminal justice system. They are as old as the system itself, and they will continue to exist as long as the fallibility of human judgment continues.
Courtroom Participants ‘Professional Standards
In Virginia State, Jay Lentz was convicted by a jury in July 2003 for the kidnapping and murder of his wife. The jury recommended that Mr. Lentz spend life in prison; however, the United States District Judge Gerald Lee dismissed the kidnapping charge due to lack of evidence. Two weeks after the judge convicted Mr. Lentz of murder, he found evidence of prosecutorial misconduct therefore the judge ordered a new trial for the alleged murder charge.
There was a calendar that was attained by officers on the deceased possession. This evidence was ruled inadmissible by the court, and yet it was still in the jury room for their viewing. The jurors had told the judge, that this calendar was very influential in deciding a guilty verdict. Judge Gerald Lee held a hearing and found the chief prosecutor Steven Mellin of the case has put the calendar in the evidence box that goes to the jury room for them to view. The judge also made clear that his belief was the prosecutor Mellin’s misconduct had been reckless, on purpose and not just a harmless mistake.
The prosecutor’s seemed to think they were above the law, however, Judge Gerald Lee knew otherwise. The prosecutor’s offered no apologies and swore there wasn’t any prosecutorial misconduct and that the judge had no right to investigate them to begin with. It is assumed the reasoning for prosecutor Mellin’s misconduct is because his personal involvement with the...