PowerUp: The due process abuses of a double-dipping prosecutor

Empower Wisconsin  | June 7, 2022

MADISON — Talk about your prosecutorial conflict of interest.

Former Midland County, Texas, prosecutor Ralph Petty spent 20 years moonlighting as a law clerk for the same judges he argued before, effectively playing both prosecutor and judge in more than 300 cases, according to the Institute for Justice (IJ).

IJ attorney Alexa Gervasi says Petty’s criminal justice double dipping was only discovered after he retired and after a new district attorney went through old invoices. She found Petty was being paid from the judges’ accounts for work he was doing in their cases.

“It was only afterwards that we know that for two decades he was violating the due process rights of every single defendant who entered those courtrooms,” Gervasi told Empower Wisconsin’s M.D. Kittle on the Vicki McKenna Show.

It is one of the most brazen and obvious examples of prosecutorial abuse in modern American history, yet Petty and the others who oversaw this miscarriage of justice have never been held personally accountable for their actions in a court of law. The Institute for Justice filed a lawsuit in April seeking to change that.

Alexa Gervasi is our guest on Today’s edition of PowerUp, Empower Wisconsin’s podcast.

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