Not To Convict, But To See That Justice Is Done

The title is from the Code of Criminal Procedure. The duty of a prosecutor is not to convict, but to see that justice is done.

Unfortunately the “convictions are wins, dismissals are losses” mentality seems to take precedent over idealistic notions of justice.

Today’s example is from the TDCAA message board-Here is the question.

Trooper stops vehicle for failure to signal when entering highway. (Vehicle merged into traffic). Defendant cites to State v. Ballman, 157 S.W.3d 65 (Fort Worth, 2004), drive not required to signal entering highway from private lot. As vehicle is pulling off road, trooper notes temporary paper tag has expired.Question: Can the state rely on the second PC? Any caselaw would be welcome.

That’s the question. Can the State save this case even though the stop was ILLEGAL?The question should be, is this justice being done, or are we merely seeking convictions?


Posted in:

2 responses to “Not To Convict, But To See That Justice Is Done”

  1. <img src="http://www.blogge says:

    Well, the stop was only illegal because of what was in the troopers mind as PC at the time. If he noticed that the tag was expired before the actual stop was completed, he could have given both as a PC. Rite? OTOH, seems like the cop probably needs more to do, or a priority adjustment.

  2. <img src="http://www.blogge says:

    The officer detained the driver for a non violation of the law.After detaining the driver, he found a real violation of the law. Given the thousands of laws in effect I think we should do all we can to discourage fishing expeditions for probable cause.I’m sure the Court of Criminal Appeals will find for the officer regardless. That seems to be their job.

Contact Information