Regulators have asked the District of Columbia’s highest court to strip a former federal prosecutor of his law license for his “illegal and unethical” conduct during high-profile murder cases in the mid-1990s, reports USA Today. If the D.C. Court of Appeals disbars former assistant U.S. attorney G. Paul Howes, it will be the first time in at least a decade that any court disbarred a federal prosecutor for ethics violations in a criminal case.
USA Today has documented 201 cases since 1997 in which courts found that federal prosecutors had violated laws or ethics rules. Each case was so serious that judges overturned convictions or rebuked prosecutors for misconduct. Even so, prosecutors faced little risk of being punished: Only six federal prosecutors faced any discipline from state offices that oversee legal ethics, and none was disbarred.