Prosecutorial Conflicts of Interest in Post-Conviction Practice

Keith Swisher

Phoenix School of Law


Hofstra Law Review, Vol. 41, No. 1, page 181, 2013

Prosecutors, our ministers of justice, do not play by the same conflict of interest rules. All other attorneys should not, and cannot, attack their prior work in transactional or litigation matters; nor should other attorneys unquestionably represent clients in matters in which the attorneys themselves face disciplinary, civil, or criminal liability. When prosecutors have likely convicted an innocent person, however, prosecutors are asked to review their own prior work objectively and then to undo it. But they understandably suffer from a conflict between their duty to justice and their duty to themselves — their duty to seek the release of the innocent person and their interest in avoiding embarrassment and liability for themselves and their offices. After this Article shows a variety of ways these conflicts cause problems, the Article demonstrates that these problems can be solved or mitigated by simply restructuring the post-conviction review process.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 35

Keywords: model rules of professional conduct, prosecutorial ethics, wrongful convictions, conflicts of interest, model rule 3.8, duty to disclose evidence

Accepted Paper Series

Download This Paper

Date posted: October 26, 2012 ; Last revised: March 12, 2013

Suggested Citation

Swisher, Keith, Prosecutorial Conflicts of Interest in Post-Conviction Practice (2013). Hofstra Law Review, Vol. 41, No. 1, page 181, 2013. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2166689

Contact Information

Keith Swisher (Contact Author)
Phoenix School of Law ( email )
One North Central Ave.
14th Floor
Phoenix, AZ 85004-4414
United States
Feedback to SSRN

Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 431
Downloads: 77
Download Rank: 185,325

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo8 in 0.234 seconds