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Justice Department Asks That 2 convicted Alaska Lawmakers Be Freed Because Trials Were Tainted by Prosecutors

Ex-lawmaker Pete Kott

Ex-lawmaker Pete Kott

Some say this is not a systemic problem in the Justice Department. But from Boston to Washington to Miami to Detroit to Alaska, the issue keeps popping up. In fact, a judge in Boston recently expressed concern about it being a problem in the Boston U.S. Attorney’s Office. And in Washington, a judge recently dismissed the Sen. Ted Steven case because of this.  It sounds like a systemic problem no matter how you dice it.

By RICHARD MAUER, LISA DEMER and SEAN COCKERHAM
Anchorage Daily News

The U.S. Justice Department this afternoon (Thursday) asked that two former Alaska state legislators imprisoned after convictions in public corruption cases be released, saying their trials were tainted by the failure of prosecutors to disclose favorable information.

In filings with the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Justice Department asked that the Pete Kott and Vic Kohring be set free while their cases are sent back to U.S. District Court, where they were convicted in 2007.

The Justice Department didn’t immediately disclose what new information has come to light. But the issue is the same general problem that led to dismissal of charges against U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens in April after he was convicted on seven counts of failure to disclose gifts and services.

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