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Manufactured Evidence, Defense Style

Probably the most frequently alleged misconduct on the part of prosecutors is withholding exculpatory evidence in violation of Brady.  This sort of stuff makes headlines for two reasons.  First, it's a rare but grievous violation of the prosecutor's ethical duty and public trust, and has the potential to bring about the conviction of the innocent  --  a gross injustice by any measure.  Second, it can help paint a seriously misleading, broad-brush picture of prosecutor-as-thug.  We all know there are people out there with this agenda.

Getting fewer headlines are instances of defense cheating.  Kent reported on one last June.  I want to follow up.

Calling a defense lawyer's crime "truly unconscionable," a federal judge in Washington today sentenced a longtime Washington attorney to more than five years in prison for his role in a scheme to manufacture evidence to dupe jurors in a drug trial.

The defense lawyer, Charles Daum, who had practiced law in the District of Columbia for three decades, will serve 63 months behind bars for a plot that included staged photographs and perjured testimony.

Daum's lawyer, David Schertler, insisted that Daum was "remorseful," but apparently not remorseful enough to say so, as he refused to speak at his sentencing.

Mr. Schertler, however,was at no loss for words, quickly changing the subject from his crooked client to  --  guess what?  Right you are!

Schertler presented Daum as an honest man, a good person, who made a mistake. Schertler dedicated part of his time in court today assessing unethical police officers and prosecutors and the public perception that neither is regularly held accountable for lapses in judgment. "When was the last time you saw a prosecutor prosecuted?" Schertler asked at one point. "It doesn't happen."

That's it!  The thing to do when your client is caught staging photos and suborning perjury is......blame the prosecutor!!

Do these people even hear themselves?

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