Police misconduct entails illegal or unethical actions by police officers. Examples include police brutality, dishonesty, fraud, coercion, forced confessions, abuse of authority, destroying and hiding evidence, and sexual assault, including the demand for sexual favors in exchange for leniency.
When police misconduct is present in a case, it increases the possibility of wrongful convictions. Police misconduct is a factor in up to 50 percent of all DNA-based exonerations.
Prosecutors determine who will be held accountable for a crime. They work with police to gather evidence, charge suspects, and take defendants to court. They have a lot of power that can easily be abused.
Prosecutorial misconduct occurs when a prosecutor breaks a law or a code of professional ethics in the course of a prosecution. Examples include making an improper argument, improperly using the media, introducing false evidence, failing to disclose exculpatory evidence, and discriminating during jury selection.
Prosecutors are supposed to seek justice. If they do their jobs right, they can create a safer society that is fair and just. But if they succumb to prosecutorial misconduct, there is a high probability that they will cause a wrongful conviction.