MEMPHIS, tenn. (localmemphis.com) - Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich tops the list for prosecutorial misconduct in the State of Tennessee, according to a new report.
The report from Harvard law school watchdog group. Researcher's evaluated cases in four states including Tennessee.
They analyzed appeals court decision's having to do with prosecutor misconduct over a five year period.
Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich topped the list according to this new report by the Fair Punishment Project.
Weirich ranked number one in the state of Tennessee for misconduct and number one for the number of cases overturned.
"What this report says is our prosecutor behaves in ways that create unfairness and behaves in ways that create massive inefficiencies in the system," said Josh Spickler, a lawyer with Just City.
The report mentions the Noura Jackson trial.
Weirich committed two different types of misconduct in a murder case involving Jackson.
Jackson was accused of killing her mother.
The Tennessee Supreme Court overturned Jackson's conviction in 2014 and chided Weirich for attempting to sway the jury by making inflammatory comments about Jackson's constitutionally protected decision not to testify.
That along with not turning over a key witness statement to the defense was enough for the state to bring Weirich up on ethics violations.
" The Noura Jackson case is important because it is shocking when it happens and it happened twice," said Michael Working, Jackson's lawyer.
Working is Jackson's lawyer and enow lectures on ethics at lawyer conferences across the country.
Working points to judges as part of the problem when it comes to questionable behavior by prosecutors.
" The judges in Shelby County, many whom are former prosecutors tend to excuse the conduct as unintentional, even if its a repetitive pattern," said Working.
Weirich released a statement saying:
"This is a grossly inaccurate and incomplete account of these cases as seen through the eyes of a defense advocacy group. I became a prosecutor to hold the guilty accountable and to protect the innocent in every case, and that is what I have tried to do throughout my career. I will never apologize for trying to seek justice for victims of crime."
While Weirich topped the list prosecutors in the New Orleans, the Los Angeles area and St. Louis were also highlighted.