Administrative Order from Californian Supreme Court Concerning Prosecutorial Misconduct

On November 2, 2017, the California Supreme Court approved new state bar ethics rules which impose heightened duties on prosecutors in criminal cases.  Why is this important? Men are often the target of overzealous or unethical prosecutions, particularly at the hands of jealous or vindictive women. Prosecutors who bring fake cases can be sanctioned or disbarred under the new rules for not paying attention to exculpatory evidence.

Among the changes, under Rule 5-110 government prosecutors are now ethically required to:

  1. not institute or initiate charges without probable cause;
  2. make sure the accused understands his rights to counsel and does not waive important pre-trial rights without full disclosure;
  3. disclose all exculpatory evidence that should be obtained through reasonable investigation;
  4. properly supervise agents and law enforcement personnel to make objective and unbiased investigations; and
  5. obtain reversal of convictions for innocent men when new evidence comes to light that demonstrates the innocence of the accused.

It is estimated that men comprise between 70-80% of arrests, criminal prosecutions and incarceration.  When men are convicted, they are often given longer sentences than women for the same crimes.  Particularly disturbing is the high rate of male prosecution and incarceration for alleged interpersonal and “domestic violence” cases; even when women commit the same alleged crime at equal or higher rates.

Most states like California now have special domestic violence and sexual assault prosecution task forces. These task forces are created through special interest funding to prosecute and incarcerate men. 

Because of misguided beliefs and policies, prosecutors often intentionally or recklessly ignore evidence that tends to prove the innocence of the accused man or at least mitigates his involvement or culpability. This evidence could include digital evidence, text messages, emails, the history of the relationship, witness and character testimony, mental health issues and other forms of important evidence which might negate the crime or mitigate the sentence or charge for the defendant. Under the new rules, the prosecutor must pay attention to this evidence, obtain it, and disclose it in the case.

If you are a victim defendant of a fake DV or sexual assault case and believe the prosecutor is behaving unethically, ignoring evidence, and prosecuting your case without probable cause, you should make an official complaint to the California State Bar or your local jurisdiction’s bar licensing agency.   http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Public/Complaints-Claims/How-to-File-A-Complaint.  Failure to abide by these rules can get a prosecutor sanctioned or disbarred.

5 Thoughts to “California State Bar Ethics Rule 5-110 Takes Prosecutors To Task For Bogus Criminal Cases: Cannot Prosecute Without Probable Cause, Must Disclose Evidence Helpful to Accused, Seek Reversal of False Convictions”

  1. SickOfIt

    Bravo for California! Now what about the rest of the country?

    1. MJustice

      Please check your state’s attorney professional rules of conduct to see if there are similar rules as it applies to prosecutors. Generally each state has special ethics rules which govern how prosecutors need to behave. These are powerful tools that can be used to check prosecutorial overreach and leverage in DV and other cases. More men need to make complaints about their local district attorneys when they unjustly and harshly prosecute men for DV while routinely dismissing charges against women and going much lighter on them from all things such as seeking charges, sentencing recommendations, etc.

  2. SickOfIt

    So, what constitutes “probable cause” in these cases, when an officer has no reason to doubt the word of the alleged victim?

    1. MJustice

      While initially the word of the alleged victim may provide “probable cause” if coupled with an injury or some other corroboration, if other evidence is revealed or comes to light, that is favorable to the accused, it simply cannot be ignored or covered up. I would argue that before a charging decision is made, it is important to conduct further investigation into the relationship and facts surrounding the alleged DV, before simply charging the defendant based on the word of the alleged victim, who may be an interested witness and have ulterior motives. It is not the job of the investigator or prosecutor to simply “believe” the alleged victim. Their job is to objectively investigate and assess the facts, evidence, and testimony of all witnesses and make sure that evidence is provided to the defense and tribunal. All too often, however, prosecutors are simply engaging in the unethical practice of overcharging men, ignoring mitigating or exculpatory evidence, and acting as advocates for the alleged victim, rather than a dispenser of justice. That’s the problem with these cases. men are always deemed guilty by the investigators, prosecutors, judges, probation officers, etc. without a full evaluation of all the facts.

    2. MJustice

      In other words, there must be probable cause at all times in the prosecution and if you can show that probable cause no longer exists because of other evidence, the charges must be dropped.

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