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Strengthen laws to hold Prosecutors accountable for judicial misconduct in US courtrooms and protect citizens from wrongful convictions

This petition had 1,154 supporters

In the United States, thousands of citizens are being or have been wrongfully convicted and incarcerated for crimes they didn’t commit. Every week, A Just Cause (AJC) hears reports on people being released from prison, after serving 10, 20, or 30 years for crimes they didn't commit. What an INJUSTICE!

These injustices are too often, because of wrong identification, and prosecutorial misconduct, or misconduct on the part of others involved in the judicial process. In 1998, Congressman Murtha and Congressman McDade introduced H.R. 3396 to Congress. Unfortunately, the Bill did not get passed in its entirety, to become a stand alone Bill. However, it was later introduced in a watered down version, and hidden within the Omnibus Appropriations Act 1998. 

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) produced a report for Congress on the Murtha-McDade Act.  To view the CRS report on the Omnibus Appropriations Act 1998, go to:

The original Billl introduced by Murtha and McDade, clearly addressed the urgency for holding Prosecutors and those directly involved in the judicial process accountable for prosecutorial misconduct. AJC understands the importance of this Bill and how much it is desperately needed to help protect average citizens from being wrongfully convicted and incarcerated for crimes they did not commit!

In addition to signing this petition, AJC request that you also contact your state's congress representative and ask them to revive/sponsor/co-sponsor a Bill like the original Citizens Protection Act 1998 to stregthen laws to hold Prosecutors accountable, when they step outside of judicial laws.

To view full text of H.R. 3396 please go to:

Other info:

Congress says "Enough" to over-zealous prosecutors -

Congressional Research Service Report 20064 -

Excerpts of the H.R. 3396 Citizens Protection Act (1998) are below:


To establish standards of conduct for Department of Justice employees, and to establish a review board to monitor compliance with such standards.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the ‘Citizens Protection Act of 1998’.


It is the intent of this Act that the term ‘employee’ shall be interpreted so as to include, but not be limited to, an attorney, investigator, special prosecutor, or other employee of the Department of Justice as well as an attorney, investigator, accountant, or a special prosecutor acting under the authority of the Department of Justice.



(a) IN GENERAL- Chapter 31 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

‘Sec. 530B. Ethical standards for attorneys for the Government

‘(a) An attorney for the Government shall be subject to State laws and rules, and local Federal court rules, governing attorneys in each State where such attorney engages in that attorney’s duties, to the same extent and in the same manner as other attorneys in that State.

‘(b) The Attorney General shall make and amend rules of the Department of Justice to assure compliance with this section.

‘(c) As used in this section, the term ‘attorney for the Government’ includes any attorney described in section 77.2(a) of part 77 of title 28 of the Code of Federal Regulations.’.

(b) CLERICAL AMENDMENT- The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

‘530B. Ethical standards for attorneys for the Government.’.



(a) VIOLATIONS- The Attorney General shall establish, by plain rule, that it shall be punishable conduct for any Department of Justice employee to--

(1) in the absence of probable cause seek the indictment of any person;

(2) fail promptly to release information that would exonerate a person under indictment;

(3) intentionally mislead a court as to the guilt of any person;

(4) intentionally or knowingly misstate evidence;

(5) intentionally or knowingly alter evidence;

(6) attempt to influence or color a witness’ testimony;

(7) act to frustrate or impede a defendant’s right to discovery;

(8) offer or provide sexual activities to any government witness or potential witness;

(9) leak or otherwise improperly disseminate information to any person during an investigation; or

(10) engage in conduct that discredits the Department.

(b) PENALTIES- The Attorney General shall establish penalties for engaging in conduct described in subsection (a) that shall include--

(1) probation;

(2) demotion;

(3) dismissal;

(4) referral of ethical charges to the bar;

(5) loss of pension or other retirement benefits;

(6) suspension from employment; and

(7) referral of the allegations, if appropriate, to a grand jury for possible criminal prosecution.

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