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Tag: prosecutorial misconduct

Justice Dept. Agrees to Pay $140,000 to Fla Man After Prosecutors Withheld Evidence

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case.

Florida Today reports that the Justice Department has agreed to pay about $140,000 to a Florida man who was released from jail after three years when the government admitted prosecutorial misconduct.

The paper reported that the prosecutors hid evidence that could have set Nino Lyons free.

To read the full story click here.

 

FBI Releases 3,600 Pages on the Late Sen. Ted Stevens

Ex-Sen. Ted Stevens before his defeat

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The FBI on Friday released about 3,600 pages on the late Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, about 2,700 of which were from media reports.

The files included complaints received by the FBI Anchorage office alleging “instances of Stevens being involved in corruption or other illegal activities” and Stevens accepting free services.

The files also detail threats made against Stevens over the years including in 1985 when he was among a number of members of Congress members who received threatening letters, the FBI said.

Stevens was convicted on public corruption charges in 2008,just before he was up for re-election. He lost the election. But a federal judge, at the request of the Justice Department, ended up vacating the conviction because of prosecutorial misconduct.

Stevens died in a plane crash last August. He served in the Senate from 1968 until Jan. 3, 2009.

Some of the information contained in the files, according to the FBI, included:

* Letters back and forth between Stevens and FBI Directors and other executives, the U.S. attorney general, and the Anchorage special agents in charge discussing legislation, constituent concerns, crime reporting, and news articles of interest;

* Letters of complaint from the public and political organizations regarding alleged corruption, which tie in other Alaskan political figures;

* References from the 1950s when Stevens was the U.S. Attorney (involving his appointment to the position and participation in U.S. Attorney conferences); and

* Correspondence between Hoover and other FBI executives regarding Stevens’ relationship with the FBI and the Anchorage Field Office as a U.S. Attorney.

Read Files

Convictions Overturned and Sentences Reduced Because of Fed Prosecutorial Misconduct, USA Today Report Says

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON –A USA Today investigation shows that federal prosecutorial misconduct has not only put innocent people in prison, but also set guilty people free, sometimes  by shortening their sentences and allowing them to commit crimes again when they should have been behind bars.

The USA TODAY investigation found 201 cases since 1997 in which federal judges found that prosecutors violated laws or ethics rules.

“Each was so serious that judges overturned convictions, threw out charges or rebuked the prosecutors,” wrote USA Today reporters Brad Heath and Kevin McCoy. “And although the violations tainted no more than a small fraction of the tens of thousands of cases filed in federal courts each year, legal specialists who reviewed the newspaper’s work said misconduct is not always uncovered, so the true extent of the problem might never be known.”

To read full story click here.

Justice Department Response as printed in USA Today:

“Once again, USA TODAY misleads readers by providing a statistically inaccurate representation of the hard work done by federal prosecutors daily in courtrooms across the country by cherry-picking a handful of examples dating back to the 1990s and confusing cases where attorneys made mistakes with cases where actual prosecutorial misconduct was involved.

“An internal review conducted by the department last year found prosecutorial misconduct in a small fraction of the 90,000 cases brought annually. When mistakes occur, the department corrects them as quickly and transparently as possible.

“Attorney General (Eric) Holder has made a priority of preventing mistakes before they occur, instituting a comprehensive training curriculum for all federal prosecutors, and mandating annual discovery training. The Justice Department has taken unprecedented steps to ensure prosecutors, agents and paralegals have the necessary training and resources to properly fulfill their discovery and ethics obligations.”