Prosecutorial Misconduct
Professor James R. Elkins College of Law
West Virginia University|Spring|2012|


Assignments Archive


Internet Resources

John Kroger Book

Prosecutorial Immunity

Course Evaluation

Case Studies

Ralph Tortorici

Rolando Cruz

Tracey Cline (DA)

Mike Nifong (DA)

Michael Morton

Anthony Graves

Ted Stevens




Course Syllabus

Prosecutorial Misconduct is part of a series of courses being offered for an Advanced Criminal Law curriculum. (I call it a curriculum although I should note that while the individual courses have been approved by the Faculty, the idea that these courses constitute a "curriculum" has received no attention on the part of the Faculty.)

The course will focus on:

▪ the role of prosecutors in the criminal justice system

▪ the ethical dimension of the prosecutor’s role

▪ the varied and common forms of misconduct engaged in by prosecutors

▪ sanctions and remedies for prosecutorial misconduct.

Prosecutorial misconduct has received widespread attention in various high-profile cases in recent years including a Federal Court judge’s holding the prosecutors in the Senator Ted Stevens case in contempt of court for misconduct and the Mike Nifong disbarment for ethical violations and prosecutorial misconduct during the prosecution of Duke lacrosse players. These high-profile cases have generated a wealth of writing and commentary. We well explore the Mike Nifong case as one of the “case studies” in the course.

The introduction to the role of prosecutors will be made by two assigned texts:

▪ John Kroger, Convictions: A Prosecutor’s Battles Against Mafia Killers, Drug Kingpins, and Enron Thieves (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008)(Kroger is a former federal prosecutor who holds a graduate degree in philosophy from Yale. He taught at Lewis & Clark Law School after leaving the Department of Justice, and in 2008 was elected Attorney General of Oregon)

▪ Gary Delsohn, The Prosecutors: A Year in the Life of a District Attorney's Office (New York: Dutton, 2003)

You will also be assigned selected judicial opinions, law review articles, newspaper articles, and materials published on the Internet. We will also screen selected documentary crime films.

Your grade for the course will be based on a research paper/course writing described at: course evaluation


Posted: January || 2012