U.S. Supreme Court Reverses Conviction Based on Prosecutorial Misconduct in Louisiana Death Penalty Case

The U.S. Supreme Court recently reversed the criminal conviction of a Louisiana death row inmate based on the prosecutorial misconduct. In a rather unusual move, the Court summarily reversed the conviction in an unsigned opinion by a six to two vote, without requiring written briefs or oral argument from either side, although Justices Thomas and Alito did provide dissenting opinions. The prosecutors in Michael Wearry’s case used the inconsistent and fabricated testimony of two jailhouse snitches in order to convict him. Even after they found a police report that cast doubt on the veracity of one witness’ testimony and evidence that the second witness testified only in exchange for a favorable plea deal, prosecutors sought the death penalty for Mr. Wearry. The prosecutors not only used testimony that they knew might be false, but they withheld the police report and other evidence from the defense

According to the Death Penalty Information Center, prosecutorial misconduct is often the cause of individuals being wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death in Louisiana and other southern states. When these individuals are later exonerated by evidence that prosecutors may have withheld, it becomes clear that prosecutorial misconduct is not limited to Mr. Wearry’s case. While not all prosecutors choose to behave in such an unethical manner, these types of cases underscore the need for a strong, experienced Texas criminal defense attorney who can investigate the evidence against you and build an effective defense, whatever your criminal charges might be. Without the help of criminal defense attorneys, Mr. Wearry might still be sitting on death row, awaiting an execution date.

The Cogdell Law Firm is a full service criminal litigation and appellate law firm. We provide client-focused representation at all stages of the process, whether our clients are seeking to avoid charges, have been charged, or are seeking reversal of a conviction on appeal. When results matter most, contact Dan Cogdell at (713) 426-2244 or dan@cogdell-law.com.

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