Washington Judge Authorizes Recall Measures Against County Prosecutor

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Mark Lindquist
Mark Lindquist

Earlier we featured the story of the Washington Supreme Court reversing the murder conviction of Odies Walker after an attorney with the Pierce County Prosecutor’s office made inflammatory and especially prejudicial power point slides during closing arguments. Citing an unacceptably large number of reversals and substantiated accusations of Prosecutorial Misconduct and Vindictiveness, Kitsap County Superior Court Judge Jay Roof ruled that there was sufficient cause to proceed with gathering signatures for a recall election. A ruling of this nature is required under the Washington Constitution to recall an elected official.

Organizers will need to gather 39,000 signatures for the recall to be held in an election to recall County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist.

The Associated Press investigated cases statewide that were reversed on appeal since 2012. Of these thirty cases seventeen were tried in Pierce County. Convictions included murder, kidnapping, felony assault, robbery, burglary, and drug offenses. Of additional concern, Deputy Prosecutor Steve Merrival filed a whistleblower complaint with the Washington Attorney General’s Office and another complaint the Washington Bar Association against Mr. Lindquist. Mr. Merrival alleges that Lindquist maintains an office culture that encourages winning at all costs regardless of constitutional safeguards afforded defendants. He is quoted specifically as stating:

“Committing prosecutorial misconduct appears to be a rite of passage into gang membership rather than seeking justice and maintaining trust as a prosecutor.”

In our featured article regarding the reversal of the murder trial of Odies Walker, available HERE, the Washington Supreme Court in its majority opinion lends credence to Deputy Prosecutor Merrival’s assertions:

Power Point Slide In Walker Case
Power Point Slide In Walker Case

The court held that the prosecutor’s duty is to seek justice, not merely convictions. Per State v. Monday a “prosecutor must enforce the law by prosecuting those who have violated the peace and dignity of the state by breaking the law.” At the same time, a prosecutor “functions as the representative of the people in a quasi-judicial capacity in a search for justice.” A prosecutor does not fulfill either role by securing a conviction based on proceedings that violate a defendant’s right to a fair trial—such convictions in fact undermine the integrity of our entire criminal justice system. We fail to appreciate why the prosecutor felt these slides were necessary to secure a conviction, and remain committed to the words of Fielding, which resonate as strongly today as when they were first made over 100 years ago.
[A] Public prosecutor… is a quasi-judicial officer, representing the People of the state and presumed to act impartially in the interest only of justice. If he lays aside the impartiality that should characterize his official action to become a heated partisan, and by vituperation of the prisoner and appeals to prejudice seeks to procure a conviction at all hazards, he ceases to properly represent the public interest, which demands no victim, and asks no conviction through the aid of passion, sympathy or resentment. [citations omitted]

Prosecutor Lindquist, who has served in this capacity since 2009, stated that the recall effort was politically motivated and that the claims made against him “are longer than a Harry Potter book and less-grounded in reality.” He further stated:

“When you are vigorous, effective and hold people accountable, you’re going to occasionally make some folks unhappy. I’m confident everyone will be cleared of the false accusations.”

By Darren Smith

Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office (Photo Credit)

The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

16 thoughts on “Washington Judge Authorizes Recall Measures Against County Prosecutor”

  1. Nick Spinelli

    With all due respect to work that has been done here, I would not wish to weekend blog for this place. I don’t want to engage in propaganda for a state and men that lived centuries ago with a wickedness that cannot be mentioned here.

  2. Ambulance chasers chasing ambulance chasers…
    … Watch out for the parked cars, people.

  3. Prosecutors such as this guy, willing to ruin and end the lives of the innocent as well as the guilty are criminals, and he is a serial criminal to boot. The fact that he uses the power of his office and the government to commit his crimes, and gets a hefty paycheck to do so makes it even worse. He does so intentionally, Yet, he is protected by the very laws of the state which he is free to ignore, so he will avoid any and all true responsibility for his actions.
    He will never face criminal charges, if sued, he will not be who pays, it’s doubtful he would even be disbarred for his actions, and even if recalled, I’m sure some private firm will hire him or he will run for DA somewhere else and begin doing this again.
    Yet, he should be jailed for what he has done. He has subjected those he knew were innocent to unspeakable brutality in the prison system, deprived them of their liberty and normal life for years on end.
    Trivialize it with bad poetry all you want, but he’s a symptom of everything wrong with the American Criminal Justice System (an oxymoron).

  4. The problem is combing criminal justice with political ambition. Unfortunately too many prosecutors see their position as a political springboard and are more concerned with establishing a “tough on crime” record than with “doing justice.” And of course, some law enforcement positions are inherently political because the agency’s leadership consists of political appointees – DOJ and state attorney general positions, for example.

  5. Mr. Ed.
    A dork is a dork, of course, of course,
    And no one can talk to a dork of course
    That is, of course, unless the dork is the famous Mr. Ed.

    Go right to the source and ask the dork.
    He’ll give you the answer that you’ll endorse.
    He’s always on a steady course.
    Talk to Mr. Ed.

    People yakkity yak a streak and waste your time of day
    But Mister Ed will never speak unless he has something to say.

    A dork is a dork, of course, of course,
    And this one’ll talk ’til his voice is hoarse.
    You never heard of a talking dork?

    Well listen to this.

    I am Mister Quist. Lindquist that is.

  6. Visual aids representing facts and evidence should be placed about the courtroom for jurors to refer to and to refresh their memories. However, these facts and this evidence should never include conclusions and opinions. For either side to present this sort of attempt at subliminal persuasion should be treated as a crime. The perpetrator should be replaced and a new trial with a new jury should take place. “The jury is instructed to disregard….” does not wash the impact out of the juror’s mind. A trial is a sacred event where someone’s life is at stake and more importantly the concept of justice is either reinforced or denigrated. It’s not a game of win or lose.

  7. He’s a dork, he’s a dork!
    He’s a dork all the way!
    From his first fruit of the loom..
    To his last dying day.

    His name is Lindquist,
    He looks like a schmuck.
    His dad was a coroner his mom was a duck.
    So give him an enema to thus shut him up.

  8. This song from the Howdy Doody Show should be sung at his funeral.

    Howdy Doody

    Buffalo Bob: Say kids, what time is it?
    Kids: It’s Howdy Doody Time!

    It’s Howdy Doody Time.
    It’s Howdy Doody Time.
    Bob Smith and Howdy too
    Say Howdy Do to you.
    Let’s give a rousing cheer,
    Cause Howdy Doody’s here,
    It’s time to start the show,
    So kids let’s go!

    source: http://www.lyricsondemand.com/tvthemes/howdydoodylyrics.html

  9. These type prosecutors are the worst. Recalls are appropriate for elected officials who act like this.

  10. A slide show presentation on national television about this dork would be appropriate. One blogger in that state said that the guy was assaulted by a priest when he was a kid and that he was a Boy Scout as well. All that aside, if he is not removed from office there are other remedies.

Comments are closed.