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Articles by Christopher Zoukis

Alaska Supreme Court Suspends Former Deputy Attorney General

Alaska Supreme Court Suspends Former Deputy Attorney General

by Christopher Zoukis

Former Alaska Deputy Attorney General and prosecutor Patrick Gullufsen, 66, was suspended from the practice of law for 18 months in July 2013 after a Superior Court found he had “blatantly lied” about forensic analysis of DNA evidence during ...

Former Kansas Attorney General has Law License Suspended Indefinitely

Former Kansas Attorney General has Law License Suspended Indefinitely

by Christopher Zoukis

On October 18, 2013, the Kansas Supreme Court indefinitely suspended the law license of former State Attorney General Phillip D. “Phill” Kline, who became nationally known for his repeated prosecutions of Planned Parenthood and Dr. George Tiller, an ...

Prosecutorial Misconduct: Taking the Justice Out of Criminal Justice

Prosecutorial Misconduct: Taking the Justice Out of Criminal Justice

by Christopher Zoukis

The prosecutor has more control over life, liberty, and reputation than any other person in America. His discretion is tremendous.... While the prosecutor at his best is one of the most beneficent forces in our society, when he acts from malice or other base motives, he is one of the worst.
—Former U.S. Attorney General Robert Jackson

 

In a recent case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, veteran judge Henry F. Floyd offered a rare public rebuke of federal prosecutors in North Carolina, who, the court found, had engaged in a pattern of misconduct.

“Mistakes happen,” Floyd wrote. “Flawless trials are desirable but rarely attainable. Nevertheless, the frequency of the ‘flubs’ committed by [the prosecutors] raises questions regarding whether the errors are fairly characterized as unintentional.”

“Yet the United States Attorney’s office in this district seems unfazed by the fact that discovery abuses violate constitutional guarantees and misrepresentations erode faith that justice is achievable,” he added. “Something must be done.”

To demonstrate the seriousness of the violations, the appellate court ordered a new trial for federal prisoner Gregory Bartko, who had been convicted ...

Death Sentences Reversed Due to Prosecutorial Misconduct

Death Sentences Reversed Due to Prosecutorial Misconduct

by Christopher Zoukis

Death sentences imposed on prisoners in Arizona, Virginia and Tennessee have been reversed by federal appellate courts as a result of misconduct by prosecutors – including withholding evidence and making improper closing arguments.

Abuses by Arizona Prosecutors

An Arizona prisoner ...

One Incarcerated, Transgender Buddhist's Experience With Medical Care in Federal Prison

One Incarcerated, Transgender Buddhist's Experience With Medical Care in Federal Prison

By Christopher Zoukis

While the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons has done a great job of promoting itself as the global leader in the humane treatment of prisoners, the reality is that the BOP is now operating at ...

Some GPS Monitoring Devices Capable of Audio Recording

Some GPS Monitoring Devices Capable of Audio Recording

by Christopher Zoukis

Civil libertarians and prisoner advocacy groups have expressed shock and outrage at the discovery that some Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking devices, used to monitor the movement and whereabouts of many pre-trial defendants, parolees, sex offenders and other persons, ...

Two Corrections Chiefs Serve Time in Segregation

Two Corrections Chiefs Serve Time in Segregation

by Christopher Zoukis

Rick Raemisch, Colorado’s new corrections director, wanted to better understand the experience of solitary confinement – so he spent a night in segregation at a state prison.

Raemisch had been on the job for seven months when he decided to ...

D.A. Drops Charges Against Oklahoma Parole Board Members

D.A. Drops Charges Against Oklahoma Parole Board Members

 

by Christopher Zoukis

 

Five members of the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board (Board) will not face trial for criminal violations of the state’s Open Meeting Act, after signing a statement acknowledging that they had conducted business without listing and publishing ...

GPS Monitoring System in Los Angeles Plagued by False Alerts, Ignored Alarms

Los Angeles County’s GPS monitoring system, designed to keep track of high-risk probationers, has overwhelmed probation officers with thousands of false alerts each day – so many that some officers simply ignore them. As a result, dozens of probationers have been able to roam unmonitored. In some cases, even when ...

Court Employee Fired for Helping Wrongfully Convicted Prisoner Prove His Innocence

In 1984, Robert E. Nelson was convicted and sentenced by Jackson County, Missouri Circuit Court Judge David M. Byrn to 50 years in prison for forcible rape, 5 years for forcible sodomy and 15 years for first-degree robbery, plus two unrelated robbery convictions. Nelson’s sentence for the latter two convictions ...