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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Senator Stevens: Justice Restored

You have seen it all over the news all day.

The Justice Department will move to dismiss the corruption conviction it obtained last fall against former Sen. Ted Stevens, according to a motion filed in federal court, because evidence was withheld from his defense lawyers by prosecutors.

NPR reported early Wednesday morning that Attorney General Eric Holder will order the case against the former Alaskan senator dropped rather than continue to try to defend the government's conviction in the face of mounting criticism from the judge in the case over prosecutorial misconduct.

NPR legal affairs correspondent, Nina Totenberg reported that Holder was driven to his decision to ask for a dismissal of the corruption conviction against Stevens because he "was horrified by the failure of prosecutors to turn over all relevant materials to the defense."

From NPR, "A jury convicted Stevens last fall of seven counts of lying on his Senate disclosure form in order to conceal $250,000 in gifts from an oil industry executive and other friends... Since then, charges of prosecutorial misconduct have delayed his sentencing and prompted defense motions for a new trial."

Holder was also reportedly moved to drop the conviction on account of Stevens advanced age (he is 85), the fact that he is no longer a senator.

"In connection with the post-trial litigation in United States v. Theodore F. Stevens, the Department of Justice has conducted a review of the case, including an examination of the extent of the disclosures provided to the defendant. After careful review, I have concluded that certain information should have been provided to the defense for use at trial. In light of this conclusion, and in consideration of the totality of the circumstances of this particular case, I have determined that it is in the interest of justice to dismiss the indictment and not proceed with a new trial.

I am just a blogger. Blawger. Whatever. But how, how does this happen? At the JUSTICE Department? How does it happen? So is this where local governments in Dade and Broward got their silent messages from? Just wondering if the federal government sends a message you can torture and waterboard and deny habeas corpus and forfeit and seize and lock people up with civil committments after their criminal sentences end then why can't you invade attorney-client privilege and listen in here and deny counsel there and how many amendments do we have left anyway?

1 comment:

  1. it seems fitting that they announced the dismissal of Ted Steven's case on April 1st