Thursday, February 13, 2014

Assistant County Prosecutor and his Investigator Caught Suppressing Exculpating Evidence: Will Justice Prevail?

According to press releases and other legal documents, former Camden County Prosecutor, Harry S. Collins and his Camden County Prosecutor investigator, Matthew Woshnak, conspired to suppress exculpatory evidence, which shed serious doubt on the reliability and credibility of the State’s sole witness in a murder prosecution.  After the defendant was unjustly sent to prison he filed a post-conviction relief motion.  

In response to that motion, an honest prosecutor from that office, Teresa Garvey provided to the defense a note which she found in the file which stated in relevant part, “Per [investigator Falco], his witness B-Nice (resident of Camden Jail) stated that my witness was paid $$ by the Puerto Rican to identify my [defendant] as the shooter.”

More troubling is the undisputed fact that this alleged witnesses account of events was the only piece of evidence against the defendant, and as stated by the Camden County Prosecutor, “there was never any other evidence, physical nor testimonial, directly implicating”, the defendant.

This is one example how sometimes the system does not work and how some prosecutor’s and their investigators engaged in willful misconduct in order to convict a person who they personally believe is guilty, in spite, of the objective evidence, to the contrary.  If true, not only should this prosecutor be disbarred but should be criminally prosecutor.  Likewise the investigator should be criminally charged for official misconduct and be barred from ever holding a law enforcement position again in New Jersey. The clear message that must be sent is that the judicial system will not accept conduct of prosecutors that are deceitful, dishonest, and was the caused of a defendant to either take a plea or convicted after a jury verdict.

Most likely the Camden County Prosecutor and State Attorney General will bring no criminal charges or ethic violations against Collins and Woshnak.  This sends the wrong message since prosecutors who have the highest duty to insure that justice be done will not be deterred from committing this type of outrageous behavior. 

The majority of county, state and federal prosecutors have no interest convicting innocent defendants, and will disclose exculpatory evidence to the defense when discovered.  However, unfortunately this is not the case with all, and by the system condoning this type of conduct without prosecution will only send the wrong massage.

277 North Broad Street
Raymond Building
Elizabeth (Union County), New Jersey 07207
(908) 354-7006

Quote of the day:

Wrote by George Bernard Shaw, but made famous by President John F. Kennedy. "Some people see things as they are and say why?  I dream things that never were and say, why not?"

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