Legal Ethics

Ex-Prosecutor Faces Legal Ethics Case Concerning His Work on 1990s Capital Murder Trials

Accused by the Oklahoma Bar Association of intentional misconduct in his handling of a 1993 murder case, a former Oklahoma County prosecutor says he did nothing wrong.

Brad Miller, who is now 50, is accused in a legal ethics case of using eyewitness testimony that he should have known was false to prosecute a capital murder case against gang members Yancy Douglas and Paris Lapriest Powell, as well as failing to disclose exculpatory evidence to the defense, reports the Oklahoman.

The two defendants were convicted and held on death row until their murder convictions were overturned by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. They were freed in 2009 after the government decided not to retry them.

Miller insists that the testimony of the sole eyewitness in the case, Derrick Smith, was truthful, the article says. His lawyer, Murray Abowitz, also tells the newspaper that Miller has been criticized by a federal appeals court in a proceeding in which Miller was not given an opportunity to tell his side of the story.

“The allegations against him are based only on proceedings, to which Mr. Miller was never a party, in which Oklahoma City gang members changed their previously sworn testimony,” says Abowitz. “Mr. Miller was never permitted to confront or even hear testimony in those proceedings. The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has previously rejected these same allegations.”

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