The prosecutor wields tremendous power within the American criminal justice system. When that power is misused-particularly in capital cases-tremendous injustices are perpetrated. Yet, occurrences of prosecutorial misconduct seem to occur with distressing regularity. An exhaustive study covering appeals from 1973-95 revealed that two-thirds of overturned death penalties in the United States resulted from overzealous police and prosecutors who withheld exculpatory evidence. Our study covered 55 Kentucky cases from 1976-2000 and found evidence of prosecutorial misconduct in nearly one-half of them, often with several instances per case.
Harding, Roberta M. and Thompson, Bankole, "Prosecutorial Misconduct in Capital Cases in the Commonwealth of Kentucky: A Research Study 1976-2000" (2004). Law Faculty Scholarly Articles. 562.