Dallas drug prosecutors were too cushy with police and had an “us-against-them” relationship with defense attorneys, causing them to miss red flags from a 2001 fake-drug scandal, says a special prosecutor’s conclusions reported by the Dallas Morning News. Deputy special prosecutor Jack Zimmermann said he found serious lapses in judgment and missteps by prosecutors. Yet, the investigation uncovered no evidence that the actions were intentional or that any crimes were committed.
District Attorney Bill Hill said he has long acknowledged that his office did not act quickly enough on problem cases in which about two dozen people, mostly illegal immigrants, were wrongfully jailed when paid police informants planted fake drugs on them. Hill said blame for the scandal rests squarely with former Dallas narcotics Detective Mark Delapaz, who was convicted last month of lying to a judge to secure a search warrant. “We were dealing with lying cops, and that’s where the blame should lie,” Hill said. Zimmermann called the behavior of some defense attorneys “reprehensible” because he said they did not adequately represent their clients. “I think some defense lawyers made some drastic errors, but it was an error in judgment and not an intent to commit a crime,” he said.