It’s not my norm to post press releases, but the following release from a new advocacy group called Blind Justice* is worth mention mostly because they put their money where their hearts and minds are.
CAMPAIGN EXPOSING PERILS OF PROSECUTOR MISCONDUCT TO HIT MANHATTAN TELEVISION AND TIMES SQUARE
Blind Justice Launches Ad Campaign to Alert New Yorkers to the Dangers of Unchecked Prosecutors and Urge Cy Vance to Hold His Prosecutors Accountable
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 5, 2013) – Blind Justice, the national nonprofit advocate dedicated to conviction integrity, today announced the launch of a Manhattan focused ad campaign bringing to light the damages caused by unchecked prosecutorial misconduct and calling for accountability in an effort to prevent future wrongful convictions. The new campaign will kick-off today with a series of television ads highlighting real cases of prosecutor misconduct and a 10-second feature ad on the CBS Super Screen in Times Square.
The television ad series titled “Conviction at Any Cost” will air on multiple networks in the Manhattan area and are available to view at www.blind-justice.org.
Each ad features transcript statements from a deposition of New York County prosecutor, Bureau Chief Kerry O’Connell who withheld witness testimony, hid key evidence and failed to disclose third-party confessions that could have proven the innocence of the wrongfully convicted at the time of the trial in the case featured.
“Every government official needs oversight, especially those powerful enough to put an innocent man behind bars. The Manhattan district attorney can no longer turn a blind eye to the pattern of prosecutor misconduct in New York City courts. Prosecutors that are powerful enough to send an innocent man to prison for life must be held accountable,” says Torin Kelly, Executive Director of Blind Justice.
The “Conviction at Any Cost” television ads will air alongside a series of 10-second ads running once an hour, 18 times a day through the end of September, in one of the world’s most famous advertising venues – Times Square.
“Times Square is the perfect venue to launch our ad campaign demonstrating that ‘win-at-all-costs’ prosecutors are a dangerous problem in Manhattan that can no longer be ignored by elected leaders who campaigned on conviction integrity,” concluded Kelly.
The new ad campaign in the Manhattan area follows the 501(c)(4) social welfare organization’s national launch last month that included television ads calling for prosecutor accountability in Brooklyn, N.Y. and Houston, Texas.
This is the television ad that will start airing in Manhattan:
Say what you will, but they are spreading their word about prosecutorial responsibility. Who doesn’t want prosecutors to be responsible for their actions? And if courts and bar disciplinary authorities won’t act, then why not Blind Justice?
Whether this will be effective in getting the public to recognize and understand the problem of prosecutorial misconduct, and perhaps even come to understand why it’s a problem in need of address, has yet to be seen, but you can’t blame Blind Justice for trying.
* We walked in, sat down, Obie came in with the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one, sat down. Man came in said, “All rise.” We all stood up, and Obie stood up with the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures, and the judge walked in sat down with a seeing eye dog, and he sat down, we sat down. Obie looked at the seeing eye dog, and then at the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one, and looked at the seeing eye dog. And then at twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one and began to cry, ’cause Obie came to the realization that it was a typical case of American blind justice, and there wasn’t nothing he could do about it…