For Many Judges and Prosecutors, Right and Wrong Don’t Matter

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This may sound like a bold assertion – specially to the millions of Americans conditioned by entertainment media to believe prosecutors and judges are always “the good guys” – but to seasoned legal experts, it is hardly audacious. The simple fact is that those who make up our judicial and law enforcement system are no different than the rest of us; they are every bit as likely, if not more so, to be stubborn, biased, or just plain wrong.

Of course, the big difference between judges and prosecutors being stubborn about the facts, and most of the rest of us, is that people’s lives are at stake. Thousands have faced wrongful imprisonment and sentencing at the hands of unscrupulous or overzealous legal officials. Many more have been badgered, abused, and mistreated. Any honest person with experience in the system knows this to be shockingly common.

Indeed, consider the latest edition of the Annual Review of Criminal Procedure, published by the esteemed Georgetown Law Journal. The preface alone, written by Judge Alex Kozinski, reveals just how troubling and widespread judicial improprieties and errors can be.

The judge points out how so many of the unquestioned truths about the legal system – that forensic evidence is reliable, witness testimony tends to be accurate, juries properly follow instructions, etc. – are far from solid. Scientific evidence, some of it long-standing, casts doubt on these assumptions – and yet judges and prosecutors continue to stand by them and determine the fates of others based on them.

Consider forensic evidence, long upheld as a solid basis for determining guilt. Citing the leading scientific journal Science, Judge Kozinski points out how voice identification can be wrong 63 percent of the time, handwriting analysis wrong an average of 40 percent (sometimes even 100 percent), and hair comparisons wrong about 12 percent. These margins of error have not stopped prosecutors from using such evidence as the smoking gun of their case, nor has it prevented judges from allowing it.

Then there is jury performance. Judges typically instruct juries on legal matters only once, and only some of them offer a printed copy; most jurors have to contend with an oral explanation. Given the complexity and nuance of legal doctrines, it is shocking that juries are assumed to understand these matters after one verbal go at it. Even appellate courts make this presumption.

This is just a small sampling of the fallibility of judges and prosecutors, and how they continue to operate on assumptions, habits, and doctrines that are continually called into question, if not proven erroneously.

Issues like this are why Adam Brofsky offers his services as a leading Criminal Law Attorney Miami. A founding partner of The Bauer Brofsky Law Firm, P.A., among the leading South Florida Law Firms, Adam Brofsky specializes on a broad range of legal matters related to criminal defense, personal injury, and juvenile dependency. With his meticulous attention to detail and steadfast commitment to each client, he has successfully defended and protected the rights of numerous individuals across Florida.

By providing exceptional one-on-one attention to every client, Mr. Brofsky provides invaluable guidance and direction in times of great needs. Know your rights. Do not let the system victimize you. Contact us at (305) 712-7979 or info@thebblawfirm.com.

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