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Justice Dept. Hopes to Avoid Another Ted Stevens Disaster

Assist. Atty. Gen. Lanny Breuer says he doesn’t think there’s widespread prosecutorial misconduct. Still, problems with sharing evidence with the defense has surfaced far too often. At least the department acknowledges that it’s an issue that needs to be addressed.

Sen. Ted Stevens/official photo

Sen. Ted Stevens/official photo

By Carrie Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Justice Department leaders are pressing ahead with reforms to prevent lapses by prosecutors in sharing evidence in criminal cases, a series of changes spurred by failures that led the federal government to take a highly unusual step earlier this year and abandon the conviction of former senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska).

The reforms come as new allegations emerge that cast doubt on the credibility of the key witness in the Alaska political corruption scandals, including the botched prosecution of Stevens.

Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer outlined in an interview and at a judges’ meeting in Seattle this week the fresh safeguards, such as new training programs for federal prosecutors on their evidence-sharing obligations and the hiring of an official at headquarters to review the process.

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