Monday, March 23, 2009

Rove's Accordion

In the egregious political prosecution of Democratic donor Paul Minor, an appeal will be heard next week on April 1st. Paul Minor was targeted in 2003 by the Rove Republican Racket and unfairly convicted in 2007 after two grueling trials (In the first trial, Minor was acquitted. See yesterday's post.)

The appeal is actually well written and as the law professors of the White Collar Crime Prof Blog observe:

When prosecutors were unable to secure convictions on the first try, they came back for a second shot. And according to the...filed appellate brief, this time the rulings were different and the defendant had a tougher road....A key issue on appeal is whether there was a quid pro quo and whether the jury received an instruction explaining this aspect of the law. The appellant argues that "[a]t the first trial, the court instructed the jury that the government's case required a finding of quid pro quo, yet it refused to provide that same instruction in 2007." The brief goes on to note that the bribery standards were, however, used for sentencing. And here is the classic line from this brief - "It was as if the indictment was the government's accordion, contracting at trial to allow the government to obtain a conviction, and then expanding at sentencing to inflict the greatest punishment on Mr. Minor."

1 comment:

  1. interesting post. the length of sentence verses the crime and the comparison to other sentence as always been a red flag to me....there is some other reason and it sure looks like pressure from above.