Of course, the teeth of any law is in its enforcement, and, where the law concerns criminal liability of prosecutors, I believe that the public and not other prosecutors, must be given the right to turn cases over to the grand juries - which California did not do.
So, theoretically, there is some progress made.
Practically - there is an appearance that the public is being appeased, but the law will change nothing, since prosecutors who habitually withhold Brady material will not charge their brothers and sisters for doing the same.
At the same time, in Arizona, a prosecutor who committed misconduct in several cases, over several years - and misconduct included even writing a book about a criminal case he prosecuted before the case was appealed (talking about personal interest of a prosecutor in the outcome of litigation), the prosecutor received a whopping discipline of an "admonition", and "probation".
The prosecutor announced in November of 2015 that he is "set to release" the book about the case where he prosecuted a person for murder, in 2016, before the appeal ran through, thus disqualifying himself from opposing the appeal since he acquired a pronounced financial interest in the outcome of litigation - and attorneys are prohibited by rules of professional conduct from acquiring a cause in their client's case, so what prosecutor Martinez was doing was attorney misconduct even had he not been a criminal prosecutor.
Moreover, a criminal prosecutor represents the People in a criminal case, and there may not be any "untold stories" sold by prosecutors to the public - because such information is either privileged under attorney-client privilege, or improperly withheld from the defense, and a criminal prosecutor in either event may not be allowed to profit from his own wrongdoing.
The book was, indeed, published on Amazon.com in February of 2016, and was on a pre-order before that:
It takes time to put together such a book.
The fact that it was so quickly published after the conviction indicates that prosecutor Martinez prosecuted the case not so much to do his job "so crimes are prosecuted vigorously, and so that justice be done", but in order to gather material to publish this book, and enrich himself.
The disciplinary proceedings, resulting in admonishment and probation, did not actually require prosecutor Martinez to stop selling the book, as he had no right to sell that story.
Martinez continues to sell the book as of today:
Here is how prosecutor Martinez describes himself and the book in order to drum up sales despite the fact that he had no right to sell the story, and selling the story was attorney misconduct and public fraud:
For his misconduct, Martinez was not disbarred, was not even suspended - while misconduct listed in the 27-page complaint was committed in 11 murder cases.
Martinez was not ordered to forfeit his ill-gained proceeds from the book either.
And, Martinez is no novice as a prosecutor - he advertises himself on Amazon as being a prosecutor for 27 years, so he knows full well he should not be doing what he is doing, but - easy money for a sensational book was too hard to pass by:
Moreover, as of today, the Amazon.com page of Juan Martinez's book also features an interview with Martinez - which makes no mention that he was admonished for publishing the book in the first place.
With a slap on the wrist, the happily smiling Mr. Martinez continues to sell the evidence of his misconduct, gaining glowing customer reviews and profiting by his misconduct.
Amazingly, a seasoned - retired - attorney with 37 years of experience, filed one of the glowing reviews, in full knowledge that publishing such a book was prosecutorial misconduct:
So, the Arizona bar, essentially, said - go ahead, Mr. Martinez, do more of the same - and maybe, it will be addressed with another admonition in some more years.
The question is - did Martinez share the proceeds from the book with the disciplinary prosecutors and judges to keep his loot?
The disciplinary decision in Arizona does not even cite the prosecutor's specific misconduct, so that it would be clear for the public whether the discipline was too light.
So, that is another curtsy to appease the public into believing that discipline of prosecutors is more than what it actually is, a closed-door rigging game.
At the very same time, in New York, prosecutors continue to be the Sky Dwellers who may never be touched by attorney discipline and can engage in any kind of misconduct they want.
Even though New York Senator DeFrancisco (himself an attorney) introduced a bill for creation of a separate Commission on Prosecutorial Misconduct which was heralded when it was introduced, in 2014, as "the first in the nation" - New York State Association of District Attorneys have so far lobbied the bill into non-existence, and the regular attorney disciplinary board continue to enforce their unspoken policy of not prosecuting prosecutors.
Here is how the lobbying by the Association of the District Attorneys against the bill was described in the testimony by Mr. Bastuk, a victim of prosecutorial misconduct who testified in front of New York Commission on Attorney Discipline in Buffalo in 2015:
But, as I said in my previous blog, the wheels of justice may be turning slowly, but they are, in fact, turning.
So, we see at least some changes in how prosecutorial misconduct is addressed, no doubt, brought about by public pressure and outrage.
And, public pressure and outrage should continue if we want any real progress be made against prosecutorial misconduct.
And - the public, the Arizona taxpayers should press the Arizona disciplinary authorities to revisit Martinez's disciplinary case and make him forfeit all profits from his ill-gained book and put the profits into the state budget.
Update as of October 4, 2016: Martinez is appealing his discipline.
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