Cold Injustice? TNT Star Kelly Siegler Accused of a Pattern Of Prosecutorial Misconduct

9AsBNK_n_400x400Cold_Justice_LogoTelevision personality Kelly Siegler is under fire this month for what critics are saying is a history of unethical conduct as a prosecutor, including the hiding of evidence in capital punishment cases. After a career as a Harris County prosecutor, Siegler became the star in a reality series on TNT called Cold Justice, now in its third season. Siegler’s allegedly checkered history as a prosecutor is reminiscent of the controversy surrounding Nancy Grace, who was denounced an an unethical prosecutor who violated the rights of accused persons but has been retained by CNN as a show host and legal commentator.

This month, a state court ordered a new trial for a man convicted in 2007 due to unethical conduct of Siegler in withholding exculpatory evidence that would have made a difference in David Temple’s trial. Judge Larry Gist noted that “Of enormous significance was the prosecutor’s testimony at the habeas hearing that apparently favorable evidence did not need to be disclosed if the state did not believe it was true.” Thus, Siegler asserted that she would only reveal evidence if she was convinced that it was not just exculpatory but true — a very dangerous standard that would allow the withholding of a wide array of evidence.

Gist detailed an astonishing 36 instances of unethical conduct by Siegler.

Siegler is also accused of the same unethical conduct in the case of Howard Guidry when she twice convicted him. In many of these instances, it is hard to imagine a plausible excuse by Siegler. For example, Siegler never revealed to Guidry’s lawyers that crime scene investigators found fingerprints that were not Guidry’s on the victim’s car door and front fender. That is precisely where the police thought the shooter would have stood. Not only did the fingerprints belong to a suspect in the case but the man actually resembled Guidry.

A federal appeals court has ruled in the Guidry case police coerced an incriminating statement and Siegler was found to have “admitted unlawful confessions into evidence and used hearsay evidence.”

Siegler had 68 murder trials and now attorneys are examining all of those cases.

Siegler has already been required to appear as a witness and insisted that all of key evidence was made available to the defense. She insisted to the media that “I am always aggressive, but as far as withholding evidence, exculpatory information, Brady evidence, that did not happen.”

Source: ABA Journal

57 thoughts on “Cold Injustice? TNT Star Kelly Siegler Accused of a Pattern Of Prosecutorial Misconduct”

  1. Jenne: Just because you have a keyboard and an opinion doesn’t mean you should be sharing your hair-brained ideas. By the way, it does matter the way Kelly’s name is spelled. If you cannot get that simple detail correct, then it renders everything else you say moot.

    I don’t have to rely on JUST Kelly’s instincts as a prosecutor in the David Temple case or any other case she’s tried. Want to know why? BECAUSE IN ALL CASES THE JURY CONVICTED THE MURDERER. Whew. We wouldn’t want that to happen again, would we?

  2. Chanlrice: just because the almighty kelly siegler (who cares how you spell it) is 100% convinced of someones guilt DOES NOT MEAN THAT THEY ARE GUILTY

  3. Im curious…have you ever been abused by a man…for a long period of time?? How dare you say anything, EVER, kelly siegler if you havent. Im watching her prosecute a woman in an old trial saying “there is no evidence that she was a battered wife” are you serious??!! Thats the whole reason abuse continues…people hide it and keep it a secret. There is not ONE SHRED of evidence that i was beat up for EIGHT YEARS. NOT ONE PERSON KNEW ABOUT IT AND THERE WAS NOT ONE ENTRY IN MY JOIRNAL ABOUT IT. THE WHOLE IDEA IS TO HIDE IT.

  4. I find it so interesting that she withheld evidence in the temple case. I believe the teenager did it. Ive watched kelly seigler on several cases and i think shes very good at her job. However, sadly she has developed the win at all costs mentality which as a public figure, u can not have. U must b openminded and she has lost her ability to be fair.

  5. Kelly Siegler is a damn fine person, and she was the best ADA the States has ever had. Your criticism of her is ridiculous, especially since you cannot even spell her name correctly. For your information, she is the most ethical person I know, and she would never prosecute someone unless she was 100 percent convinced of his/her guilt. Kelly Siegler is a true role model. She’s fair, brilliant, compassionate, and kind. You could learn a lot from her about being a good person.

  6. Just reading all these comments and seeing there are more than one person standing by Kelly Seigler makes me sick. Kelly should be arrested, at her trial all evidence of her not breaking the law, being a good person, and character witnesses should be withheld. Then she should sit in the worst women’s prison in th U.S. for a combined sentence of all the time the innocent men she put behind bars got. Then TnT needs to run a “Cold Justice” episode publicly desecrating Kelly Segiler because she has earned it. And everyone that is behind Kelly I just hope to god none of you are in law or criminal justice because you do not belong to be there!

  7. Chandra,it doesn’t matter if she is male or female.If she violated Brady rules plain and simple.It’s better hand over all evidence anyways, especially if you don’t want defendants have ammo to use on appeal

    1. Ryu: Why are you bringing gender into this discussion? I didn’t. Kelly was the best prosecutor in the states, male or female. She did not violate Brady in the Temple case or any other case.

  8. Whenever I hear a murderer referred to as “victim,” I have to remind myself that not everyone in this world is capable of rational thought.

  9. Tony Estrada: I understand not every prosecutor is a moral person. I never said they were, but I’m not worried about the others. I only care about Kelly, and Kelly is ethical, brilliant, and hard working. I know her, and I know what she considers important. She fights for justice. And, yes, she and I both sleep fine at night knowing that we’ve played a part in putting the bad guys in prison. It’s too bad you no longer can say the same.

    P.S. My sentence structure is fine. Part of my job is to give out grammatical advice, and I am very good at my job. For example, you committed at least five errors in your one paragraph. You might want to hire a proofreader for all of those briefs you file.

    Her name is Siegler. The least you can do is learn how to spell her name if you’re going to insult her. Jackass.

  10. Why is it when a woman is aggressive and tough , she is condemned and vilified. if Kelly were a man we wouldn’t be reading this. go Kelly. You were undefeated hence all the sour grapes.

  11. Of course prosecutors win the great majority of their cases. They have all the discretion they need to choose which cases to prosecute and when. They can wait for years to actually get an indictment, while their investigators pick and choose evidence based on who they already believe is guilty. Meanwhile, all the potential defendants are going about their lives, trying to make a living and get over the tragedy. These ordinary people don’t have investigators working to find the evidence that will exonerate them. The prosecutors take home a paycheck regardless of what’s going on in the lives of the accused or the victims.
    Prosecutors don’t have to figure out how to pay for investigators, or for experts to test evidence and testify. Even after they finally get an indictment, they can take years to get the case to trial, still collecting their pay while the defendant is faced with jail, bail, and mushrooming defense expenses–often while unemployed because it’s hard to find a good job after being splattered all over the news with every little sin you ever committed made public by the prosecution and its friends in the media.
    State court prosecutors are very rarely from the highest achievers of law school graduates, but even when they are that only means they learned to play the game the way it has been played for centuries. There are no measures for character or ethical conscience of graduates.
    As a general practice or criminal defense attorney, one quickly learns that prosecutors are like gunfighters, whose only measure of success is the number of convictions racked up.
    On May 16, 2013 Texas Governor Rick Perry signed a bill known as the “Michael Morton Act” that requires prosecutors to open their files to defendants and keep records of the evidence they disclose. The Act is named for Michael Morton, who was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 1987. He was exonerated twenty-four years later, after DNA evidence revealed that someone else had murdered his wife. Morton’s lawyers discovered that the original prosecutor had withheld evidence that could have proven Morton’s innocence. Obviously this law came too late to help Siegler’s victims.
    The guilty prosecutor, Ken Anderson, had to give up his law license and job as a state court judge, but served less than ten days in jail for his prosecutorial misconduct. Meanwhile, the state of Texas has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars going back over the 25 years of convictions Anderson was involved in, to find how many others were the result of concealed or fabricated evidence.
    Since Siegler’s misconduct occurred before the Michael Morton Act, she will probably fare no worse than Anderson, and like Nancy Grance can continue to rant injustices all over television and make the big bucks for doing so.

  12. Hey Chanlrice, give me a break! As a former police officer (25 yrs), and now as a criminal defense attorney, with 83 murder cases defended, I can tell you that the object of your blinded admiration, Ms. Sieler, is just the “tip of the iceberg”. The problem of prosecutorial misconduct in this country is rampant. But listen, you go right a head and keep viewing the world through your silly little rose-colored glasses. I’m sure you and Kelly sleep just fine at night, giving no thought at all to the innocent people you, in the name of “justice”, victimize. P.s. You are the last person who should be giving out grammatical advice to anyone. Check your sentence structure.

  13. chanlrice, I hope you do not have a desk at the Harris County DA’s office right now. Listening to this silly adoration of Kelly Siegler who was able to wreak havoc in the office with the help of buddy DA that had to resign in disgrace.
    Hopefully you will find an idol that is worthy of trust and respect.

    P.S. More cases to come!

    1. Kelly was successful while in the district attorney’s office because she was (and is) a dedicated, hard-working, well-prepared, brilliant lawyer who consistently fought for justice for victims and their families. To think otherwise only proves your ignorance. If you want to rail against Chuck Rosenthal, be my guest. I don’t care but leave Kelly out of it.

      As for my adoration of Kelly, it is well deserved. She has earned my trust and respect, and since you do not know me or my history with Kelly, you cannot argue that point with any level of substantiation.

      P. S. I hope you soon learn how to form a complete sentence.

  14. Kelly has never – and I can safely say will never – cheated to win. She has never needed to. When Kelly tackles a prosecution, she does so with the type of preparation and ethical integrity we all wish we had. Just because Gist disagrees doesn’t make him right. Besides, not even the he could state the evidence withheld should have been shared.

    Also, as a prosecutor, Kelly has the right to determine what is Brady material, which can be interpreted in a variety of ways depending on attorneys and judges, and she made a judgment call based on what she knew to be true. She did not hide any exculpatory evidence. Every lead was investigated and dismissed when no
    pertinent evidence was found to support alternative theories.

    By the way, the first television show was not her idea. It was brought to her by television executives, not the other way around. She did not use this case, or any other, to garner attention.

    Kelly convinced a judge and jury, along with most of the United States, of Temple’s guilt because he’s guilty, not because of some rivalry or hidden evidence. She works daily to do what’s right. The rest of the justice system needs to pay attention.

  15. I don’t understand why the media hire such awful people like those two. I never watch either of them & have no idea why anyone would.

  16. there is a reason everything,office, high position was politicized and run by po lie trickers the proof is in this criminal and nancy space you will not make it anywhere unless you play their game and follow their rules. the truth has been out for years and yet there are those who still deny the truth.

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