Monday, April 25, 2005

Bad Nancy

It's no secret that I'm not a fan of Nancy Grace. As a legal commentator, she's unbelievably biased, even compared to other prosecutors and former prosecutors. But, apparently, she wasn't always the fairest prosecutor either. Weldon Wayne Carr was prosecuted by Nancy for the murder and arson in the death of his wife. I've heard that Nancy was undefeated as a prosecutor, so it's not surprising that he was convicted. But, the Georgia Supreme Court reversed Carr's conviction, and, while the reversal by the court was on evidentiary grounds, they also addressed Mr. Carr's allegations of prosecutorial misconduct by Nancy. They didn't have very nice things to say:

Our review of the record supports Carr's contention that the prosecuting attorney engaged in an extensive pattern of inappropriate and, in some cases, illegal conduct in the course of the trial. Specifically, his allegations about illegal entries into his home are borne out by the record; the trial court, after a hearing on a motion to suppress evidence gathered through illegal use of subpoenas, specifically found that the prosecuting attorney abused the subpoena process by, among other things, inserting false information regarding hearing dates; the record shows that the witness list delivered on the eve of trial contained many names new to the defense; the transcript of the opening argument shows that the prosecuting attorney repeatedly made references to physical abuse although the trial court had ruled out all evidence of purported abuse ("There is no occasion and no excuse for attempting to influence the jury in advance by improper statements as to evidence which counsel knows he cannot prove or will not be permitted to introduce." (case cite)); and the closing argument was replete with references to the prosecuting attorney's beliefs ("It has long been the rule that a district attorney may not state to the jury his personal belief in the defendant's guilt." (case cite)); and patent misrepresentations of fact such as the prosecuting attorney's use of a chart falsely indicating that a defense expert had not disagreed with a specific opinion by a State's witness.

We conclude that the conduct of the prosecuting attorney in this case demonstrated her disregard of the notions of due process and fairness, and was inexcusable. Because we are reversing the convictions on other grounds, and because Carr has gotten the relief he sought in raising these issues on appeal, we need not conduct an analysis to determine whether the misconduct of the assistant district attorney who tried this case was so harmful as to require reversal. We trust, however, that if this case is to be retried, the prosecuting attorney and the trial court will bear in mind the special responsibility of a prosecuting attorney."

After four years, the DA tried to retry Carr again, but the case was dismissed on speedy trial grounds by the late Judge Rowland Barnes. I'm sure that infuriates ol' Nancy.


Blogger Tom McKenna said...

Any prosecutor who claims to be undefeated isn't trying many cases. Sure, if you cherry pick your cases you can be undefeated, or if you're a federal prosecutor and only prosecute the most overwhelming slam-dunks, you can be undefeated. But the typical state prosecutor? If you haven't lost cases, you haven't been trying enough cases.

I think you show a lot of bias yourself, by the way, in assuming that prosecutors are monolithic and never care about anything except getting a conviction.

4/27/2005 5:32 AM  
Blogger 123txpublicdefender123 said...

Where have I ever said that prosecutors are all monolithic, and only care about getting a conviction? I have said that about certain, specific prosecutors, like Nancy Grace.

4/27/2005 5:47 AM  
Anonymous Gideon said...

Ooh! I finally figured out who she is! I've seen her on CourTV before, but never knew her name.

Yes, I too, am not impressed by her.

4/27/2005 1:24 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

That's great!

Oh and yes I don't like listening to her but at least it means she's not actually prosecuting people anymore. :D

5/09/2005 7:12 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

I think Nancy Grace has a brillant mind. She knows the law and did win over 100 cases when she was a prosecutor in Atlanta.
She also had over 10,000 confessions from criminals. I watch her every day on court tv and on cnn at night. She is the best!!!

5/21/2005 8:18 PM  
Blogger Moobear said...

Thanks for being more specific, I thought for a sec you wuz a fan of Nancy. Amen on site meter. Also on the Google searches, of which I have been known to google NG to see if perhaps she has self destructed yet...

God Bless!

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