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On January 8, 2014 the Center for Prosecutor Integrity (CPI) announced the launch of its Registry of Prosecutorial Misconduct, the first “publicly available national online database to catalog judicial or legal disciplinary committee findings of prosecutorial misconduct.”

The database (here) allows users to search through cases using a number of fields, including Crime, Trial Year, Finding Year and Prosecutor Name. So far the database only includes misconduct findings for federal prosecutors, but the CPI intends to develop the database with state-level cases over time.

We are amused (or better, dismayed) by the number of cases that involve unknown prosecutors in the database. The reluctance of courts and disciplinary committees to publicly identify offending prosecutors is nothing new, but it’s evident just how widespread the practice of withholding names is when observed in database form.

Radley Balko highlighted the database in his introductory post on prosecutorial misconduct for The Washington Post last week, stating:

It’s clear at this point that the courts, state bars, and federal government have little interest in bringing any transparency to this problem. If it’s going to happen, it will probably need to come from private actors. The new registry seems like a good start.

We agree!

 

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