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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ind. Decisions - Yet more on: Supreme Court issues public reprimand to Carl J. Brizzi

Updating a long list of ILB entries, the most recent of which was posted March 20th, "Ind. Decisions - Yet more on: Supreme Court issues public reprimand to Carl J. Brizzi," Maureen Hayden reports today in the Logansport Pharos Tribune in a story headed "Supreme Court decision could mute prosecutors: Experts say reprimand might make other attorneys less likely to speak." The story begins:

INDIANAPOLIS — When former Greene County Prosecutor David Powell was still in office, it wasn't unusual for him to give pushy reporters a copy of the rules of conduct for attorneys that required him to curb his words and make sure the police did, too.

Prosecutors around the state may find themselves doing the same thing that Powell, now head of Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council, once did.

A mid-March decision by the Indiana Supreme Court to reprimand a former prosecutor for statements he made to the press about a high-profile murder case is giving other prosecutors pause.

Powell and other legal experts believe the court's reprimand of former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi also conveyed a message to other prosecutors around the state — They need to resist the temptation to make their case in the court of public opinion rather than the court of law.

The reprimand, said Powell, was a reminder “that prosecutors don't have a First Amendment right to say whatever they want to say.”

Brizzi was reprimanded for comments he made to the media about a 2006 mass murder case in which he described the evidence as “overwhelming” and said one of the defendants needed to get the “ultimate penalty” of death.

The comments, made after charges were filed against the defendants but before the case went to trial, violated the professional rules of conduct for prosecutors, the supreme court found.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 27, 2012 08:55 AM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions