Saturday, May 1, 2010

The U.S. Supreme Court on the Prosecutor: .."while he may strike hard blows, he is not at liberty to strike foul ones"

H. Morley Swingle is the prosecuting attorney for Cape Girardeau County, Missouri, and while I know nothing about him, nonetheless he has impressed me with what he has on his website. In laying out what he says is the "role of the prosecutor," Swingle writes:
Robert H. Jackson, later a U.S. Supreme Court Justice and the lead prosecutor of the Nazi war criminals at the Nuremberg trials, said in 1940 as U.S. Attorney General in a speech to federal prosecutors: "The prosecutor has more control over life, liberty, and reputation than any other person in America." While this may be something of an overstatement, prosecutors need always remember that even the filing of a charge can do serious damage to a person’s life. The prosecutor must make sure that he prosecutes only the guilty and that he does so fairly.

No one, especially a prosecutor, wants an innocent person to go to jail or suffer injustice.

The role of the prosecutor to do justice is emphasized in the ethical canons for prosecutors. These ethical canons differ significantly from those for defense lawyers.

A defense lawyer is required to represent his client "zealously within the bounds of the law." While he is not allowed to knowingly present perjured testimony, he does not need to disclose damning information he knows about his client to the prosecutor, the judge or the jury. He may argue innocence, even when he knows his client is guilty. The defense attorney’s role is to be a hired gun for his client, to get him off if he can, or to get him as little punishment as possible if he can’t get him off entirely.

The prosecutor, on the other hand, is obligated to seek justice. (emphasis mine) The National Prosecution Standards published by the National District Attorneys Association state quite clearly: "The primary responsibility of prosecution is to see that justice is accomplished." The American Bar Association Standards for Prosecutors put it even more succinctly: "The duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict."
He goes on:
All prosecutors at my office know that if we develop a reasonable doubt about a person’s guilt, our duty is to dismiss the case rather than go forward with the prosecution. As Justice Jackson said in his 1940 speech: "[A] spirit of fair play and decency . . . should animate the federal prosecutor. Your positions are of such independence and importance that while you are being diligent, strict, and vigorous in law enforcement you can also afford to be just. Although the government technically loses its case, it has really won if justice has been done."

On the wall of my office I have hung a framed quotation from George Sutherland, another U.S. Supreme Court Justice. He described the role of the prosecutor in these words: "The [Prosecuting] Attorney is the representative not of an ordinary party to a controversy, but of a sovereignty whose obligation to govern impartially is as compelling as its obligation to govern at all; and whose interest, therefore, in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be done. As such, he is in a peculiar and very definite sense the servant of the law, the twofold aim of which is that guilt shall not escape or innocence suffer. He may prosecute with earnestness and vigor – indeed, he should do so. But, while he may strike hard blows, he is not at liberty to strike foul ones. It is as much his duty to refrain from improper methods calculated to produce a wrongful conviction as it is to use every legitimate means to bring about a just one."

Justice Sutherland’s reminder that the prosecutor should strike hard blows but fair ones captures the essence of the role of the prosecutor. The prosecutor should strike hard blows by being an excellent trial lawyer who will never lose a case because of incompetence or lack of preparation. Yet, he will always strike fair blows by making sure he has provided the defense with all of the facts in the case, both those that support the guilt of the defendant and those that might tend to suggest innocence, and by refusing to resort to cheap tricks or unfair tactics to win a case. (emphasis mine)
Compare these words to what Chris Arnt and Len Gregor -- with the enthusiastic encouragement from Judge Brian House -- have done in the Tonya Craft trial. From suborning perjury (yes, Suzi Thorne and Joal Henke committed perjury) to having part of Dr. Ann Hazzard's testimony disallowed on "hearsay" ground, even though most of the prosecution's testimony is based upon hearsay, these two bullies (I cannot call them "men," anymore) have managed to destroy any notion that courts in the Lookout Mountain Judicial District are even capable of producing a fair trial. Their cheap antics yesterday with Dr. Hazzard only reinforce the point that everything in their bones goes against the very just and sound statements that others in their line of work have made.

Furthermore, because House's rulings have been so contradictory -- permitting the prosecutors to run wild ONE CAMERA while attacking the defense at every turn (including an infamous on-camera recording in which he disparages Ms. Craft's counsel) -- House has made it known to the world that the Lookout Mountain Judicial District is utterly lawless, at least in its courtrooms. No doubt, judges like Ralph van Pelt and others are going to have to work much, much harder in the future if they wish to keep any credibility at all, thanks to the destruction of justice by House and the Dishonest Duo, a.k.a. Facebook and The Man.

While Arnt and Gregor may think that the other prosecutors in Georgia have their backs, I need to remind them that Mike Nifong thought that, too. For a while, that was true, as North Carolina's prosecutors gave public statements supporting Nifong, letting him know that they were behind him.

In the end, however, after Nifong's antics and lawbreaking were well-publicized, the prosecutors continued to stand behind him: they attended his "hanging." They had no choice but to throw him under the bus, as the public anger against Nifong was threatening to spread against all of the prosecutors in that state.

Likewise, as the evidence against Arnt and Gregor mounts, and as more and more prosecutors and judges and attorneys in Georgia view their handiwork, you will see a lot of former "supporters" run for cover. THAT I can guarantee.

American prosecutors over the years have shown an ugly side that is antithetical to justice, and they even have a very dark saying: "Any prosecutor can convict a guilty man. It takes a GREAT prosecutor to convict an innocent man."

My sense is that Arnt and Gregor want us to think that they are "great" prosecutors. They are not. I believe that they are bullies and liars who have been given protection in a court where the judge shows absolutely no sense of fairness and decency and who proudly tells the world that he has sided with the prosecution and is doing everything in his power to rig a conviction.


Unknown said...


Anonymous said...

It is so frustrating to sit in that courtroom day after day and witness firsthand the injustice Tonya Craft is facing. Truth should be the ultimate goal, but it seems in this case that the prosecutor is doing everything in his power (which seems unlimited at this point!) to keep the truth from the jury. By not allowing the expert witness to testify as to her conclusions after doing a forensic assessment on the Craft and Henke families, the judge kept a critical piece of evidence from the jury. His reasoning was that the conclusion was for the jury to decide. Does Judge House have so little confidence in the jury that he won't allow them to hear an expert's opinion and use that in coming to a verdict? This isn't about trying to get someone off on a technicality. This is about the truth, and it seems abundantly clear that Judge House, along with his bumbling prosecution duo, are determined to keep the truth out of the courtroom at any cost. Mr. Gregor made an ass of himself yesterday trying to discredit science in general, and psychology specifically, by reminding us all that the world was once thought to be flat. His desperation is evident. I am inclined to think that maybe his father should have thumped him a little harder on the head with his Navy ring. I am embarrassed and alarmed to realize that these are the kinds of tactics this judicial circuit has stooped to.

Anonymous said...

It's time the GOOD people of north Georgia stand up and speak out OR forever hold your peace and let your children and grandchildren pay the price....

Anonymous said...

That TFP cartoon is absolutely priceless. It shows the tide of public opinion is rising against the Catoosa County prosecutors. I don't think the wave will crest however until the jury decides the case (if in fact they get the chance...mistrial?). I'm a dispassionate observer living in Chattanooga, but have a part time job in Catoosa County. At first I had difficulty seeing this as equal to the Duke case, but I'm now convinced that this is even worse! I truly hope this prosecution machine gets busted and soon.

Anonymous said...

To follow up on Barry’s posting, read the comments under the cartoon. The poster alprova is dead on with his comments and observations.

KIMRN said...

I am giving a standing ovation to the defense team. I think they are doing a wonderful job showing the TRUTH in this case. The "bullies" need to take lessons on dignity from any one of the lawyers on the other side!!!!

Lookout Spy said...

Mr Anderson, your distiction about the difference between the ethical duties of defense attornies as compared to prosecuting attorneys is the heart of an ethical concept of justice and the function of our court system, which as you say, is designed, to seek TRUTH. In the final vote, I pray the jury stands for the Truth, and sees through the web of deception which pervades so much of the LMJC's inner mechanisms. I agree with your perception that of the four sitting judges on the LMJC, Honorable Ralph van Pelt has the cleanest hands. However, it's difficult for anyone to stay totally clean when the level of corruption is so pervasive in the LMJC. I applaud your work in this forum, and pray the jury has some souls anomg them who are brave enough to withstand the filth they have had to witness in the Court of what should be a hall of Justice, not injustice.

Anonymous said...

"Any prosecutor can convict a guilty man. It takes a GREAT prosecutor to convict an innocent man."

Can you name a specific prosecutor who has ever said that? What proof do you have that the majority of prosecutors say that among themselves? Do you have evidence you could display in court? Statements like the above will cause people who follow a lot of trials to not take you seriously.

I don't like Arndt, Gregor and House any more than you do and hope their careers are ended by this affair.

kbp said...

“world was flat.”

This approach to planting the idea in the minds of jurors that the science presented by Dr. Hazzard is questionable or will be proven inaccurate over time looks to me like something the prosecution shouldn't wish for.

If Dr. Hazzard provides what the jury should consider to be about as good of an expert as they'll ever see on the topics discussed, then putting her theories into question certainly doesn't help to solidify the theories of all the state's witnesses, nor make anyone consider the rotating team who conducted the child interrogations are better at it than she is.

At best, it just tells the jury you can't trust what any of them tell you, or worse yet, that the theories coming from the state's experts must really be way out there (and maybe the entire case follows that trend also).

Exclude the "expert" theories and you're back to only the evidence presented by the accusers:

When did it happen?

Who all did it happen to?

What happened?

Which statement do you believe, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th ...?

Who told the accusers what to say or what happened?

The state has provided a confusing mess for the jury sort out on dates of the alleged acts and when the accusers finally made the accusations in those interviews.

I have to wonder that if the prosecutors appearing to confuse themselves is part of a plan to confuse the jurors.

Anonymous said...

kbp at 11:38 said:

"I have to wonder that if the prosecutors appearing to confuse themselves is part of a plan to confuse the jurors."

The persecution team does not need a plan to appear confused to the jurors or the rest of the world. They are perpetually and terminally confused. What they have submitted as "evidence" is proof of their confusion. Wonder how long before one of them asks a witness how many angels can fit on the head of a pin.

William L. Anderson said...

To the 11:33

Henry Wade, who was a prosecutor in Dallas for years, was alleged to have said it, but it is one of those things that is hard to track down. The link below from The Thin Blue Line attributes it to Dallas prosecutors:

My guess is that no one actually came up with that line first, and it probably was spoken as dark humor by the prosecutors.

Again, here is another link. Scroll down to just above the picture of the Evil Nancy Grace:

William L. Anderson said...

Here is one more. It is the Washington Post piece written by Jonathan Turley that was quoted in the piece I just linked:

kbp said...

Anon 11:33:
""Any prosecutor can convict a guilty man. It takes a GREAT prosecutor to convict an innocent man."

Can you name a specific prosecutor who has ever said that? What proof do you have that the majority of prosecutors say that among themselves? Do you have evidence you could display in court? Statements like the above will cause people who follow a lot of trials to not take you seriously."

It's from the book "The Death Penalties in the Nineties", by Welsh S. White. It was attributed to the prosecutor in State of Texas v. Willis in the news before this book was published, and since by many other sources.

It has been quoted and used in movies, books many articles over the years, so one should feel safe stating that prosecutors, being the profession the statement originated from, have used the "very dark saying" many times with humor and some seriously.

Of course knowing the original source here really does not keep Arndt, Gregor or House from being judged for their conduct.

Anonymous said...

The truly sad part of this whole mess is that the HONORABLE Ralph Van Pelt is a good man, a good judge, and once was an honorable prosecutor. He is truly the type of level headed character that we need on the bench. I am sure that if her were still the DA, that he would have reigned in these clowns long ago. What a shame that he isn't over these proceedings now.

Anonymous said...

"If Dr. Hazzard provides what the jury should consider to be about as good of an expert as they'll ever see on the topics discussed, then putting her theories into question certainly doesn't help to solidify the theories of all the state's witnesses..."

This is exactly what I thought yesterday as I listened to Gregor attempt to portray the field of psychology as junk science. I wondered if he realized that as he worked to create doubt about the validity of interviews with children in general, he was discrediting his own witnesses.

Anonymous said...

So when is election time in Catoosa County? I can't vote because I live in TN (Thank Goodness) but I can sure hold a sign for anyone running against these three!

Anonymous said...

"Any prosecutor can convict a guilty man. It takes a GREAT prosecutor to convict an innocent man."

Wow! This is scary stuff. I can't believe Len Gregor said this?

William L. Anderson said...

No, Gregor has not said this publicly, at least to my knowledge. However, he does seem to have this saying as his own Mission in Life.

Anonymous said...

We need to pack out the courtroom for Tonya this coming week. She is going to need our prayers n support more than ever! Pray the jury will be able to distiguish the truth from the 'diversionary tactics' n smoke screen of the prosecution. Pray the national media gets back in that courtroom.

Anonymous said...

If there is a mistrial, given that Franklin didn't want to prosecute to begin with - do you think they would retry her given the public outrage and the HUGE bill that I'm sure it is costing tax payers? They would NEVER be able to find another jury I wouldn't think.

Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve said...

KeepingItReal 3:37.

Or, the persecution could do what should have been done when this charade first started, grant a change of venue and move the trial to another area where it would be heard by a competent non-biased jurist instead of the ringmaster and clowns presently running the circus.

The circus is so dead set on a conviction that, given the lack of evidence, they had to keep the 3 rings inside Catoosa County and in-"House" so to speak. Hence, you have a judicial pimp masquerading as a judge whose previous involvement in the defendant’s divorce should have been enough for a successful recusal motion. Alas, it is not in the parallel universe where House presides.

Anonymous said...

This comment is especially for those living in the Ringgold/ Chattanooga area::::
I encourage every one to wear yellow to Church on Sunday. Where ever you attend, may it be PEAVINE(church of the judge), OAKWOOD, WOODSTATION, OR EASTWOOD. I PRAY THE JURY WILL SEE THRU THESE LIES AND SET TONYA FREE.

RBrock said...

I'm wishing I had a yellow shirt for every day of the week! I never cease to be amazed at each new stunt the prosecution and judge pull. I keep hearing the same thing from folks who haven't really taken the time to research this charge and trial, "Why would the kids say it if it didn't happen?" I only hope the jury is wiser than that and have the discernment they need to arrive at a just verdict. The judge and DAs office and all the others involved in this witch hunt are raping the entire county in this farce. A good prosecutor should be above hiding the truth from a jury. If I were on the jury and later found out what had been hidden from me under dubious rulings by Judge House, I'd be royally PO'd.

Anonymous said...

I love that name, Throckmorton. In my field of medicine there is an unofficial "Throckmorton sign". When you x-ray a man's abdomen and pelvis looking for a cause of acute pain, over 85% of the time his 'member' will be pointing to the side of the pain. Off topic I know, but some medical trivia to lighten the mood a little. I'm ashamed to say that during my ER tenure in NW Georgia I actually allowed Sharon Anderson to do an exam on one of my patients. No positive findings thank goodness. I've had the good fortune to train under and work with highly regarded professionals in the medical field and I must say that what the prosecutors have considered "expert" in this case is appalling. I will continue to say extra prayers for Ms Craft and her defense team.

Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve said...

I LOVE the medical trivia in your post. That’s not the source of the name but these types of facts are fun to know.

I too have served in the medical field in the past and can name 2 doctors who would have torn her a new one based on the use of the word "suspicious." I know she is proclaimed an "expert" by the persecution team but an expert on what is a mystery to the rest of the world as she has demonstrated no expertise in performing medical exams.

Kerwyn said...

To the two above Healthcare folks, I am a SANE/FNE. I am not sure where she took her training, but the old battle axe of a Physician that was my mentor would have cut my fingers off if I had documented such tripe as "suspicious. I can see it now..

"Patient presents with arm at a 45 degree angle with protruding bone. Highly suspicious for a break."

*shakes my head*

I also have to call into question her claim of seeing 50 to 60 child sexual assault exams a year. In a county of 60,000 people? Dear God, do you folks have some kind of epidemic going on?

Denise C. said...

I was shocked as well by those numbers and I live in this area. I was also "suspicious" of the numbers that Holly Kittle gave. She said on the stand that she had done over 200 interviews with children. Now, she took the 5 day class in February. She got hired at her present job in March. Did the interview with the victim (or should I say accuser?), in April. If her claim is true to doing over 200 interviews, in 1 month, she was a very busy lady. Now if these interviews were done before she got her "qualifications", then she didn't know what she was doing before that. Those kids probably are more confused than when they started. If she did all of these 200 interviews after getting "qualified", she must have had group sessions. I'm sorry but those numbers just don't add up to me. Do they to anybody else?

William L. Anderson said...

What you have going is a scam. When Janet Reno was terrorizing people as State's Attorney in Florida, she used a couple by the name of Braga, and their "interviewing" techniques managed to have a "100 percent success rate." In other words, every child they interviewed ultimately "disclosed."

The numbers just don't cut it, people. You are seeing a repeat of what happened about 20 years ago, except that North Georgia is about 20 years behind the times. But, now they have arrived.

Loved your comments, Kerwyn.

Anonymous said...

No doubt Kerwyn! In the real world either it is or it isn't...period! You can come up with a differential diagnosis list, but when it comes to a physical sign its positive or negative. I worked with a great SANE in Dalton, GA and have great respect for the challenges you face. Its a tough job. I've had to testify once in an assault case, and it wasn't pleasant. You folks have to testify all the time so hats off to you. I've retreated to the puzzle-filled world of Rheumatology. neat problems, but potentially devastating diagnoses. It just baffles me that you can actually be put in charge of interviewing children on potentially life changing events without a college degree and such minimal training!! I remember the Reno years-I was a student a U of F during that time. I also think she was responsible for some of the mortgage crisis too by "suggesting" that banks lend to uncreditworthy buyers or face audits, etc. Truly an evil woman.

Anonymous said...

If the jury finds Tonya not guilty I hope the process to get rid of that bunch doesn't stop. We just can't let them continue, they have to be removed from such trusted positions. Wonder how many innocent people are in jail right now. I am also hoping someone will remove the precious children from their parents IMMEDIATELY! I just can't imagine anything that would drive me to use my children like this! SO SICK!

Anonymous said...

I am deeply blessed with God's gift to me in Joal as my husband.
I have two step kids that are my children.

Yall wanna guess who's facebook page this is under????

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I saw that. Sickening. This woman may be clueless considering she's so young and childless. When she has her own child she may re-consider and realize that she's been hoodwinked and that her "gift" of Joal Henke isn't so great after all.

Anonymous said...

Amen...I'm surprised her wall is public and she talks about TONYAs children as if they were hers!

Anonymous said...


"I also have to call into question her claim of seeing 50 to 60 child sexual assault exams a year. In a county of 60,000 people?"

Anderson is doing exams for 4 counties with a population of around 170,000. Hope that clears that up for you.


"given that Franklin didn't want to prosecute to begin with"

Not sure where this is coming from. If Mr. Franklin didn't want the case to go forward it would not have.

There is enough evidence for a jury to decide if the defendant is guilty. Some of you have an anti-government agenda, some want to be blind because of friendship, and some don't like the reality of the world.

kbp said...

Anon 10:50.

I am still ready and waiting for any to provide the evidence of guilt.

General statements just provide opinion absent any specific details.

Try again.

Anonymous said...

@ 10:50 all the "evidence" in this case proves to me is that anyone can make an accusation and someone could be ruined over it. Reminds me of the crucible.

This case just points out that something must change in the system to protect against this abuse of justice. People shouldn't have to prove they're innocent, the burden should rest on the prosecution to prove a crime beyond reasonable doubt. An accusation absent hard evidence or at least reliable witnesses is not beyond doubt.

Also, the system needs a safeguard in place that would punish false accusers.

Princess Consuela Bananahammock said...

Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve? Is that really your name, or are you just being funny?

kbp said...

Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve

"The Great Gildersleeve (1941–1957), initially written by Leonard Lewis Levinson, was one of broadcast history's earliest spin-off programs. Built around Throckmorton Philharmonic Gildersleeve, a character who had been a staple on the classic radio situation comedy Fibber McGee and Molly, The Great Gildersleeve enjoyed its greatest success in the 1940s."

Sandra Pearson said...

<< the system needs a safeguard in place that would punish false accusers. >>

i'd say it's high time to set a precedent!

RBrock said...

To Anon 10:50

You are so right, there is more than enough evidence for a jury to come to a fair verdict. If only the judge would allow them to hear it all. When a judge and prosecution team are so desperate and focused on their agenda that they keep relevent evidence from the jury, it's quite obvious that truth isn't what they are seeking. I have no anti-government agenda, I have never met Tonya Craft. But I do agree that I don't like a world where someone can be ruined with accusations that aren't backed up by evidence and a world where someone doesn't get a fair trial. None of us should like that reality. Innocent until PROVEN guilty. That is still the standard. Thinking she did it, or hating her enough to convince you she did it isn't a basis for a guilty verdict. There has to be enough evidence to believe beyond a reasonable doubt. That just doesn't exist, even without the testimony of the experts involved that the judge didn't allow the jury to hear.

Anonymous said...

At anon 10:50
Prosecutions evidence:
testimonies of the children....can be picked apart due to the tactics and behaviors of the interviewers

Pics of the damage done to the children....can be discredited by actual experts in the field

Tonya is a fitness instructor, may have had a sexual liaison with another female years ago, may have watched a porno 10 years ago, etc....all prejudicial, and throw me in jail too, as I was a college girl years ago with some curiosity and I've always been health conscious. lol

There is more evidence that Tonya didn't do this and the stepmother and father need to be investigated! By the way, I live an hour from Catoosa County and have never met what?

Anonymous said...

Court just starting, I am sure House and his boyfriends have been crippling what the defense can ask the incompetent and mentally unstable Laurie Evans.

Anonymous said...

I have posted blogs on other websites, and it is possible that some of you have read them. However, I feel the following information should be out there to all of the citizens living in the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit.

Having worked in Chattanooga, Tennessee/Hamilton County for approximately 30 years, when I lost my job due to a RIF, I found a job in a small law firm here in LaFayette (Walker County), Georgia. From the beginning, I was horrified at how antequated the entire system of "justice" is in this area. There is nothing professional about one office with which I dealt during the next one year of employment at that firm.

After a period of time, I began to realize that the LMJC is the child custody center of the universe. I was completely appalled at how many vicious, mean-spirited, self-serving, disgusting, heartless people live in this area. This did not seem to be the town I grew up in. It was devastating to me, as the level to which justice has sunk in the LMJC is beyond measure.

People (and usually men - sorry guys - just naming the demographics) did not seem to care whether the truth was told - they just wanted to twist the truth until they had a weapon of mass destruction. Usually, this was over child support.

There is a small cafe on the square in LaFayette where the politically-inclined gather. Many decisions are made in that cafe that are not only detrimental to the community, but detrimental to the reputations of others. In other words, it is a gossip central with political leanings. My dad used to go to that cafe - until he became sickened of the "ambiance" of the place. Had nothing to do with the food. At any rate, he died very disappointed in his hometown fellows. His heart was broken.

In this circuit, and BTW House will also be sitting on the bench in Walker, Chattooga and Dade Counties folks - yea - shudder, the truth shines far too much light on the perverse insanity that reigns supreme.

I have even been approached by a first cousin and more or less told to keep my mouth shut because "we don't get out and talk about family - even if they're wrong." This came after my father who was a Hospice patient was so neglected all four of his children were infuriated and demanded that another first cousin not come near our father again. Never mind that harm was done to my father. Just "be nice." Oh, well, water under the bridge.

Just trying to let you know what the mindset in this area is. What this bunch calls "being nice" is basically saying, "Keep your mouth shut, your head down, your opinions to yourself, and allow the bullies to run the playground."

I know Tonya - she was in my daughter's wedding. Well, she served at the wedding. This is when she was married to Henke. He was not invited. She was pregnant with her first child, whom she has not seen now in 700+ days. This lady is resilient, loving, and honest (just to name a few of her qualities). I have prayed for her constantly, and will continue to do so.

Thank you, Mr. Anderson, for watching over this misuse of the court system in this area - hopefully, if we can wrest control of this place out of the hands of the rednecks and dishonest powers that be, this will become a great place in which to rear families.