There are numerous admirable and honest police and prosecutors in the United States who dedicate their lives to ensuring the general public is safe form harm. In an ideal world, all of those working in these respective fields would perform their jobs with 100 percent honesty. However, we know this is not true. Prosecutorial misconduct occurs when a law-enforcement official or prosecutor commits an act or acts that can be viewed as unfair or inappropriate.
In Ray Krone’s case, prosecutorial misconduct was committed when the prosecutors failed to over a forensics tape that they were going to use as a primary piece of evidence until the night before the trial. Additionally, the prosecution withheld an odontologist’s report that casted doubt in the allegations of Ray. Because of these circumstances, Ray’s lawyers were put at a disadvantage during the trial.
While prosecutorial misconduct can be any action that is unfair or appropriate, some common forms include: law enforcement officials misleading jurors about their findings, failing to turn over exculpatory evidence to prosecutors (or the defense), tampering with evidence, allowing bad witnesses to testify and pressuring defense witnesses not to testify.
While there are many honest and hardworking law-enforcement officials and prosecutors in the world, just one dishonest one can lead to a false conviction. It’s important for the safety of the public that dangerous criminals are off the street, but everyone still reserves their right to a fair trial. Because we cannot guarantee a trial will be fair and free of misconduct, we cannot continue to utilize the death penalty solely because in cases such as Ray Krone’s, there can be misconduct that leads to a false conviction and ultimately could lead to the execution of an innocent person.