Taking on Testilying: The Prosecutor's Response to In-Court Police Deception
Criminal Justice Ethics, Vol. 18, p. 26, 1999
15 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2009
Date Written: 1999
In this article, I examine the problem of "testilying" -- perjury and other forms of in-court deception by police officers -- from the prosecutor's point-of-view. What are the prosecutor's legal and ethical duties and obligations? What, if anything, should he or she do to combat the problem? These questions, and others, are important to ask, discuss, and answer because a judicial "system" that is supposed to adjudicate guilt and innocence yet permits lies -- no matter how small or infrequent -- is no system at all. Under our adversarial system of justice, competing, zealous advocates argue their causes before neutral and impartial arbiters. Implicit in such a system is the belief that those zealous advocates should fight fairly. Using lies does not promote justice; it distorts it.
Keywords: testilying, police, perjury, prosecutor, ethics, legal, lying, deception
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