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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Happy Thanksgiving for Ben Kuehne

Ben Kweller's 'Ya Gotta Fight': My Dedication to Ben Kuehne

The US Attorney has given Defense Attorney Ben Kuehne a very special Thanksgiving gift today. It has moved to dismiss the pending appeal against Gloria Velez and also moved to dismiss the entire indictment in the district court against Velez, Oscar Saldarriaga, and Ben Kuehne. Yes, there is much to be grateful for, but praise not too much an attacker who never should have launched an assault to begin with.

The motion simply says that it is based on the changed circumstances from the Court of Appeal's decision and in the interest of justice. Indeed. It was signed by Ken Blanco, Deputy Assistant Attorney General.

The entire South Florida Bar will be thrilled.

Ben Kuehne issued the following statement:

'On this, the day before Thanksgiving, I am gratified beyond measure that the United States Department of Justice has decided to abandon all charges against me. I have had throughout a deep and abiding belief that things would turn out well in the end. However, I did not know the end result would come about by decision of the Department of Justice. We are all fortunate to be able to say that we have a Justice Department whose goal is to try to do the right thing—not to win at all costs.

'Although I would have preferred not to go through this experience, I am also gratified that my case has been the occasion for an important precedent-setting legal ruling by the District Court, recently affirmed by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and embraced by the legal community, in preserving and protecting the Sixth Amendment right to counsel. This ruling deals with an area of law that is close to my heart. It is to the right to counsel in criminal cases that I have dedicated much of my career at the Bar. I want to, once again, thank the many members of our community who have, over the past two years, so consistently expressed their confidence in my innocence. Throughout this period, I have continued to do what I have been trained to do, and what I love most, which is to practice law. I am grateful to the many clients who have reposed their confidence in me by seeking to utilize my legal services.

'I am also grateful to my amazing lawyers, John Nields, Jason Raofield, and Laura Shores from Howrey in Washington, D.C., and my good friend, Jane Moscowitz, from Miami. I wish to thank them for their skill, dedication, and commitment to me and my case.

'Finally, throughout this legal drama, my greatest strength has been the unsinkable spirit and love of my wife, Lynn, and our entire family. I want to thank them for knowing who I am, and of my sincere dedication to the law.'

What else is there to say? A good and decent man has emerged from the dark shadows of an unjust and indecent indictment. An honorable spokesman for social justice has won back his place at the table, weathered, weary, but sure to arise like a phoenix again.

Congratulations Sir Benedict. I think it's a good time to go to play the Ben Kweller video from You Tube.

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