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How to fight corruption of our public officials?

Cleveland, OH |

Every lawyer on here knows there are crooked and corrupt judges and prosecutors. They know if they report a prosecutor or judge, that there will be severe consequences such as future retribution or consequences to there law license. Often times payouts occur and judges are bribed or prosecutors destroy evidence, or manipulate Juries or Grand Jury proceedings. They do all kinds of stuff, and they know they have impunity because the system has "safeguards" that in the event they are caught doing something wrong, they are protected, often by law enforcement, protected by ethic commissions. How does an individual defendant, without all the money the government has to fight corruption, bring this to court, when the corruption goes way up?

Attorney Answers 6

  1. Your perception of the judicial system is remarkably inaccurate.

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  2. Your conspiracy theory is not correct, and is a total misrepresentation of our system of justice. I can't imagine you are going to find any attorneys who agree with your assertions regarding bribes, payouts, destruction of evidence or manipulation of juries. The legal system may have flaws, but the judges and prosecutors I have know have all been honest, hard working and underappreciated for all that they do.

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  3. You may count me among the lawyers who do no not know or believe that there are large numbers of corrupt judges and prosecutors. Are there some? Yes. They are very rare, in my experience. The one judge I know of in Rhode Island who was caught accepting a bribe many years ago was severely punished with a long prison term, public humiliation, and disbarment. More recently a defense attorney received a lengthy sentence for bribing a witness. But these are the only examples I can remember in over 20 years of practice.

    I have seen many public officials go to jail for bribery or corrupt behavior, but I do not see it that often with lawyer and judges in the courts. As I said, it is rare.

    Most lawyers, on both sides of the bar, are dedicated to doing the right thing for their client. Most judges want to do the same, and try very hard to be fair. What irritates me is when people try to hire lawyers while suggesting that they can bribe a prosecutor or judge. If that is your perception, you are fooling yourself. And if any attorney suggests to you that they can "work the system" or that they have an "in" with a prosecutor or judge, run, don't walk, out of that attorney's office.

    The response I have provided is general in nature, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. My practice is based in Rhode Island, and the law and practice in other states or jurisdictions may be different.

  4. One of many conspiracy theories out there. Has some if what you described happened somewhere, sometime Probably.

    Is it widespread? Certainly not,

    Has it happened to someone you know? None here can say, you provided no facts to substantiate anything.

    FWIW, some defendants find if they take on the role of 'victim of the system', they can avoid much of the 'guilt' associated with responsibility for their acts'. That's a more likely scenario IMHO.

    To answer your question directly-- a lawyer is the best defense to the systems biases, prejudices, and abuses.

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  5. This is my 41st year practicing law. I have known of two such matters in all that career. One was a nearby case of prosecutorial misconduct and the other was an attorney bribing a witness. The lawyer was disgraced, disbarred and spent time in prison. The DA lost his law license, resigned a judgeship and has been humiliated on national TV several times.

    I have experienced a legal system such as that described by you. It was in Nigeria, thirty five years ago. It does not exist here. The very people who protect your freedom to make such astounding accusations are lawyers and judges. You are free here to avail yourself of their services.

  6. In my 40+ years of practice I have seen lots of wrong-headed decision-making; I have seen many errors and too many to count instances of laziness and lack of preparation, and I have seen many attorneys and judges in way over their heads intellectually. I have seen judges who lack appropriate judicial temperament, and attorneys whose egos have incapacitated their reasoning processes.

    But I have seen "corruption" and criminal activity just twice in all those years. My view is that is a fairly high standard, and one that any profession can be proud of.

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