Re: "Judge calls 2nd child abuse case 'vindictiveness'" (TNT, 3-31.)
The dismissal of criminal charges against Lynn Dalsing because of prosecutorial vindictiveness raises concerns far beyond whether or not she will get the court-ordered discovery long delayed because of her prosecution.
Prosecutors are suppose to tell the truth and provide the material without being asked whether it helps their case or not. Our system of justice depends on this. The resources of criminal defendants are limited. Prosecutors have a duty to provide discovery without being asked.
In Texas in 2004 Cameron Todd Willingham was executed for the arson deaths of his children. The scientific evidence that convicted him has since been determined to be junk science. Recently it was learned that the prosecutor withheld evidence of a deal he had made with a person who testified against Willingham. Had the jury known about the deal, it might not have convicted Willingham.
This is not the first time the Pierce prosecutor’s office has failed to produce court-ordered material. It seems only a matter of time before a wrongful conviction or a tragedy such as Willingham’s occurs because of the prosecutor failing to produce material unknown to the defense.