Contact: Teri Stoddard
Telephone: 301-801-0608

7 out of 10 Voters Call on Lawmakers to Halt Prosecutor Misconduct

WASHINGTON / August 5, 2013 – A national opinion survey reveals a strong majority of registered voters want lawmakers to take action to curb prosecutor misconduct. The survey is sponsored by the Center for Prosecutor Integrity, a non-profit, non-partisan organization working to protect the presumption of innocence and stop wrongful convictions.

More than 7 in 10 – 71.7% — of voters participating in the survey responded ‘Yes’ to the question, “Do you think lawmakers should pass new laws to stop prosecutor misconduct?” The survey also found:

  • 42.1% affirm that prosecutor misconduct is widespread
  • 72.1% believe prosecutor misconduct is often kept hidden from the public
  • 74.5% say prosecutor misconduct is seldom punished
  • 66.8% worry the presumption of innocence is being lost

Calls for legislative measures were especially strong among women (75.7% vs. 66.2% for men); older persons (72.8% among persons 50 years or older vs. 61.2% among younger voters), and lower-income groups (76.1% for persons with an AGI under $40,000, compared to 67.5% among more affluent voters). The survey also found support for lawmaker action is strong both among self-identified Republicans and Democrats.

The Center for Prosecutor Integrity believes the majority of prosecutors are ethical, but notes the continuing reports of wrongful convictions and prosecutorial misconduct.

“For years, unethical prosecutors have been getting a free pass,” notes CPI spokesperson Sheryl Hutter. “Now the American public is telling state lawmakers that rogue prosecutors who care more about convictions than candor must be held accountable.”

Model legislation and sample bills are presented on the CPI website:

An average of 993 persons answered each of the survey questions. The sampling frame comes from voter registration records in 47 states; as such, the survey is not fully representative. More information about the survey findings and methods can be seen here:

The Center for Prosecutor Integrity, a project of Stop Abusive and Violent Environments, is working to preserve the presumption of innocence, assure equal treatment under law, and bring an end to wrongful convictions.