Death Penalty Vacated Due to Prosecutor's Lie

A prosecutor's lie to a Nevada jury may have influenced its decision to impose the death penalty on Ricky Sechrest.

The prosecutor "misled the jurors to believe that if they did not impose the death penalty, Sechrest could be released on parole and would kill again," the court said, adding that the trial judge "did nothing to stop the prosecutor from making these erroneous assertions."

Apparently the defense attorney, whose representation was judged inadequate in other respects, also did nothing to correct the lie. The court of appeals vacated the death sentence, giving Nevada the choice of accepting a lesser sentence or bringing a new death penalty proceeding. If it chooses the latter, let's hope it plays by the rules this time.

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    Yeesh (none / 0) (#1)
    by scarshapedstar on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 10:28:55 AM EST
    If the death penalty is so wonderful and necessary and just, one would think that the lying would be unnecessary.

    and again, (none / 0) (#2)
    by cpinva on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 02:31:03 PM EST
    what sanctions will be brought against the prosecutor and judge in this case?

    While there is never (none / 0) (#3)
    by NYShooter on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 05:32:58 PM EST
     justification for lying, the method for rating a prosecutor's performance is equally as guilty as is the prosecutor's ethics.

    Now, no laughing, please, but which slogan would prove more successful in a prosecutor's election campaign?

    1. I, Johnnie "nail'm `n fry'm" Boucher, have never lost a case.


    2. I, Johnnie ""tak'n my oath seriously" équité, have "lost" 50% of my cases because the evidence presented clearly showed that the defense case should have, and did, prevail.

    When prosecutors are judged on "did justice prevail?" rather than on how many cases he/she "won," then we'll have a justice system worthy of our founder's hopes.

    i see your point, (none / 0) (#4)
    by cpinva on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 05:31:46 AM EST
    and raise you.

    if the prosecutor sees that the evidence doesn't support his/her case, than they have no business bringing it to begin with.

    that would eliminate the need for option# 2.


    Threading the needle (none / 0) (#6)
    by NYShooter on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 03:59:10 PM EST
    I guess, in my point #2, the cases were ones where the prosecutor wasn't positive, and felt that the arbitor of the truth should be a jury.

    So few comments (none / 0) (#5)
    by 1980Ford on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 12:07:49 PM EST
    Why? People don't care? Don't want to criticize the government? Don't want to coddle criminals? Not as important as other topics? It would be interesting to know if this post was read as often as some of the other more commented posts. Maybe commenters simply don't know what to say.

    It is still interesting no matter the reason that posts like this one are relatively ignored. My guess is there is some cognitive dissonance going on that conflicts with the majority of the population's support of the death penalty and people just shut it out.