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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  

Larry Cunningham

St. John's University School of Law

Date Written: 1999

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Cunningham, Larry, Taking on Testilying: The Prosecutor's Response to In-Court Police Deception (1999). Criminal Justice Ethics, Vol. 18, p. 26, 1999. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1327886

Larry Cunningham (Contact Author)

St. John's University School of Law ( email )

8000 Utopia Parkway
Jamaica, NY 11439
United States
718-990-7616 (Phone)

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