The Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has written a 17 page dissent in the case of Kenneth Olsen condemning the failure of professional accountability for prosecutors which, he says, has led to an “epidemic of Brady violations abroad in the land.”

Chief Judge Kozinski was joined by four other justices in his dissent from the majority, which ruled against Olsen’s request for an en banc hearing after a three-judge panel denied his claim for relief.

Kozinski says it is incumbent upon the courts to hold prosecutors accountable for their misconduct, particularly since no other mechanisms for accountability are proving effective.

“We must send prosecutors a clear message: Betray Brady, give short shrift to Giglio, and you will lose your ill-gotten conviction.”

Kozinski backs up his words with action: in March this year we highlighted his decision to forward evidence of prosecutorial misconduct in the Debra Milke case to the Arizona Attorney General and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Though the Courthouse News Service and the ABA Journal have posted helpful summaries on the Olsen case, Kozinzki’s dissent is well worth reading in its entirety.

Read the dissent here.

Update:

Radley Balko has also written a post about Kozinski’s dissent on the Huffington Post here.

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