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Courtroom Participants' Professional Standards

Courtroom Participants' Professional Standards

Research on the Internet and locate at least one real-life example of each of the following:

- Prosecutorial misconduct
- Ineffective assistance by criminal defense counsel
- Judicial misconduct

Summarize each example and address the following questions:

- What did the prosecutor do wrong? How does immunity protect the prosecutor from the consequences of his or her misconduct?

- What did the criminal defense attorney do wrong? What is the Strickland v. Washington standard? Refer to Ch. 10 of Courts and Criminal Justice in America. How do the performance prong and the prejudice prong of the Strickland standard apply to the example?

- What did the judge do wrong? Which judicial selection option - appointment, election, or merit - would help to reduce instances of judicial misconduct?

- How does the misconduct or ineffectiveness of these courtroom participants reflect or thwart the crime control model of criminal justice? How does the misconduct or ineffectiveness of these courtroom participants reflect or thwart the due process model of criminal justice?

Solution Preview

The example I will provide is a display of the current state of the criminal justice system in many places, but particularly in areas such as the southern United States where misconduct can be systematic throughout the system with all three actors engaged in this misconduct. In Dallas County, the county in which Dallas, TX has over 2 million people, the use of racial bias to exclude Blacks from juries happened for many decades leading into the last decade. Routinely nine out of 10 qualified Blacks were excluded from juries representing blatant racial discrimination on felony juries. Therefore, the failure of judges and defense lawyers to stop the exclusion of qualified blacks from jury service and the explicit use by prosecutors of manuals to train them how to exclude Blacks all represented miscarriages of justice that resulted in over 34 Black males being convicted of crimes they did not commit spanning several decades (AP News Archives, 1986).

These prosecutors, judges, and defense attorneys all participated in robbing four out of five Black defendants in Dallas County from their constitutionally guaranteed right to fair and impartial juries of their peers because the juries were consistently all white by design from prosecutors and complicity by judges and defense attorneys (AP News Archives, 1986).

- What did the prosecutor do ...

Solution Summary

Courtroom participants' professional standards are examined. The ineffective assistance by criminal defense counsels and judicial misconduct are examined.

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