You can read the full article here.
Lawyers for Donald E. Siegelman, the former Alabama governor convicted on corruption charges in 2006, have asked for a new trial based on “newly discovered evidence” of prosecutorial misconduct in the case....The motions argue that the government failed to turn over information that could have helped the defendants’ cases, and that the testimony of an important witness, Nick Bailey, a former Siegelman aide, was shaped by repeated coaching sessions with prosecutors. The brief suggests that prosecutors had threatened him implicitly to “enhance his need to cooperate.”
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
The Nebraska Supreme Court has upheld a district court ruling that kept a New York man from getting back more than $40,000 seized by a trooper during an interstate traffic stop. Louis Obad of Lakeview, N.Y., argued that a state trooper wrongfully took the money, which Obad was carrying in his rental car in 2008. The state suspected it was drug money and turned it over to the U.S. Marshals Service. Obad was never convicted of a crime connected to the incident.Former District Judge Kristine Cecava of Cheyenne County ordered in March 2008 that the $43,584 be returned to Obad. But Cecava vacated the order two months later, saying that the money was in the possession of the federal government and that she had no jurisdiction over the matter. In a decision released Friday, the high court upheld Cecava's decision that she had no jurisdiction. Neither Obad nor his attorney, Don Miller of Sidney, immediately returned phone messages from The Associated Press.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Oliver Diaz Jr. called on Congress and the Obama administration Friday to step up investigations into what he called "political prosecutions" by the U.S. Justice Department. "There are political prosecutions that have gone on around the country," Diaz said. "Innocent men are sitting in federal prisons. ...It's time for us to do something." Diaz was acquitted of corruption charges in a 2005 federal trial and later on federal tax evasion charges. He joined other targets of recent federal investigations, along with their families and attorneys, at a forum in Washington to press for action against "selective investigations" by federal prosecutors under the Bush administration.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Mississippi Judge Bobby DeLaughter, facing federal corruption charges, has said his rulings followed the letter of the law. Federal prosecutors don't want a jury to hear that when his trial begins in August....Prosecutors asked a judge in a pretrial motion filed Monday to block DeLaughter from giving any testimony that his rulings followed the law, claiming it would take weeks during the trial.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
As you may recall, the Rove Republican Racket in Mississippi targeted and prosecuted Democratic fundraiser Paul Minor twice and convicted him by stretching the law. Currently, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is reviewing the case.
Here is a main paragraph from the letter written by Minor's attorney Hiram Eastland:
What has emerged in recent months is a troubling pattern and practice on the part of the Criminal Division under the direction of William Welch to allow ground level prosecutors to overreach in their legal theories, use questionable tactics to obtain evidence, and mislead, withhold, and manipulate trial material in order to further blatantly improper prosecutions.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Here's an excerpt. Full article can be read here.
Former Public Integrity Section prosecutors Nicholas Marsh and Edward Sullivan, who are under investigation for their handling of the Ted Stevens case and other Alaska public corruption probes, have been placed in one of the Justice Department’s lesser-known quarters, the Office of International Affairs (OIA), according to two people familiar with the move.
As The Washington Post first reported...the prosecutors were given notice of their reassignment on June 4, the same day Justice urged a federal appeals court to release from prison two Alaska legislators convicted of bribery and extortion. In a motion filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, Justice lawyers asked the panel to remand the cases of former Alaska state representatives Victor Kohring and Peter Kott for further proceedings. As in the case of former Alaska Sen. Stevens, the department lawyers told the court they had discovered documents that should have been disclosed to defense counsel prior to trial.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Looks like former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman may have a real shot at justice over politics.
Read the full story here. Read our previous post on Alice here.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Now the Pied Piper has played his tune and carried the State Supreme Court on the path to a drowning river. From the Jackson Clarion Ledger:
One-time Hinds County District Attorney Ed Peters, who has been given immunity in exchange for his cooperation in a judicial bribery investigation, is getting his wish to be disbarred. On Thursday, the state Supreme Court agreed to Peters' resignation from the practice of law. In December, Peters submitted his "irrevocable resignation" rather than contest a complaint filed against him with the Mississippi Bar. In his resignation letter, he said, "In view of my retirement and resignation, I do not desire to defend this matter."
Thursday, June 11, 2009
From the LA Times:
Full story is here.
George Torres' future looked pretty bleak: The supermarket mogul had been stripped of his riches by government prosecutors, convicted in a massive racketeering case and was awaiting a potential life sentence in federal prison. But in a stunning reversal of fortune Tuesday, the government released its grip on Torres' assets, a judge tossed out the most serious convictions against him, and he was ordered set free -- at least for now. The turnaround came after prosecutors in the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles turned over tape-recorded conversations that contained information that was potentially beneficial to Torres' defense regarding at least one key informant who testified against him.The taped conversations took place before Torres' trial in April but were only recently discovered by prosecutors, said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office.
Monday, June 8, 2009
The story highlights the fact that the U.S. Justice Department under the Rove-Bush-cheney Administration was a political arm that targeted Dems more than GOPers. here's the lead:
For three years, lawyers for Dr. Cyril H. Wecht professed that federal prosecutors were persecuting the former Allegheny County coroner because of his Democratic politics -- a claim they admit people accused of public corruption frequently use. "It's the first line of defense of someone in public office," said Dick Thornburgh, a former Republican governor and an attorney general under President Reagan. "But this case was so flimsy from the outset that there had to be some reason it was brought." Thornburgh was part of the legal team that vigorously defended Wecht, 78, of Squirrel Hill on public corruption charges, which U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan dropped last week. An examination of public corruption cases brought by Buchanan since her September 2001 appointment by President Bush shows the majority of defendants were registered Democrats. Of 18 defendants charged with public corruption crimes during her tenure, 13 were Democrats and two were Republicans -- former state Superior Court Judge Michael Joyce of Erie and a South Fayette police officer convicted of conspiring to sell nearly 9 pounds of cocaine -- according to voting records. Party affiliations of three defendants are unknown.
To read the full story, click here.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Tobin, 48, was indicted in October by a federal grand jury in Portland on charges of lying to the FBI during an interview on Oct. 14, 2003, about the phone jamming. Those charges were brought just days before the statute of limitations would have prevented prosecutors from making them and nearly three years after Tobin was vindicated on far more serious charges in New Hampshire. U.S. District Judge George Z. Singal in February dismissed the Maine charges on the basis of vindictive prosecution. Federal prosecutors on March 17 appealed Singal’s decision but on May 1 filed a motion to dismiss it.
The case against Tobin, of Bangor, Maine, came to a quiet conclusion last week when a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston dismissed an appeal by prosecutors. The hang-up calls jammed phone lines set up by the state Democratic Party and the Manchester firefighters' union for more than an hour on Election Day, when Republican John Sununu won a Senate race against then-Gov. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat. Sununu won by nearly 20,000 votes in 2002, so the jammed phone lines probably had little impact on the outcome of the race. Tobin was cleared in federal court in New Hampshire of taking part in the plot. Then the government brought charges in Maine of lying to investigators, and a judge dismissed those before the case went on to the federal appeals court.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
The topic of the article is banking, but Fitzgerald talks about the Rove Republican Racket and how they tried to cover for then-Illinois Governor George Ryan.
Fitzgerald accuses Karl Rove of trying to pressure him to nominate someone from the corrupt Chicago machine as U.S. Attorney, which for our sake Fitzgerald refused. Read this:
Presidents customarily defer to senators in their party with regard to nominations of U.S. attorneys. And as the lone Republican senator from Illinois, that responsibility fell to Fitzgerald in 2001. Worried about corruption in state politics, Fitzgerald took the highly unusual step of seeking a U.S. attorney from outside Illinois. "I wanted somebody who was not under the thumb of the powers that be in Chicago," says Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald asked FBI director Louis Freeh for a recommendation, and it was Freeh who suggested Patrick Fitzgerald, a no-nonsense terrorism prosecutor in Manhattan's U.S. Attorney's Office. When word got out, Fitzgerald says, Bush's White House chief of staff Karl Rove told him he had to select someone from Chicago - a directive Fitzgerald obviously ignored. But the press reacted so favorably, Fitzgerald says, "the White House was just inclined to go along."
Fitzgerald also alleges that the Speaker of the House at that time, Dennis Hastert - a Republican from Illinois - at first asked the White House to let him make the nomination instead of Fitzgerald. Hastert was close to Gov. Ryan - who is today serving a 6½-year sentence for corruption - and Fitzgerald believes that Hastert wanted to install a U.S. attorney who "would put a kibosh on the Ryan investigation." Hastert denies Fitzgerald's claims. Rove declined to comment.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
We found an article from the Kansas City Star from January that was re-posted on Sunday in South Carolina by The State. Although the story focused on the trial of Tiller, it also contained an inside look into the politics of Kansas' legal establishment.
Both Paul Morrison and Phil Kline served as Kansas Attorney General.
The deeds and misdeeds of Paul Morrison and Phill Kline, both former Kansas attorneys general, proved to be the subject of a lengthy — and at times, salacious — legal drama Tuesday.
The day's star witness? Linda Carter, the former staffer in the Johnson County district attorney’s office whose affair with Morrison led to his resignation as attorney general a year ago. Tuesday was the first time Carter had spoken publicly about the relationship. She said Morrison and Kline were "arch-enemies" and that she and Morrison often argued about her employment in Kline’s office after he replaced Morrison as district attorney. They also fought about the Tiller investigation and late-term abortion, which Carter said she opposes.
Morrison, she said, "was increasingly becoming more verbally abusive, angry towards me. That was always because I continued my employment with Phil Kline."
Tiller is accused of having an improper financial relationship with a second physician who signed off on late-term abortions he performed. Tiller maintains his innocence, but his attorneys argue that the 19 misdemeanor charges should be dropped because of prosecutorial misconduct from the start of the investigation.
They accuse Kline, the Republican who began the investigation of Tiller, of letting his opposition to abortion influence his decision to pursue charges. And they say Kline mishandled medical files retrieved from Tiller's office.
Tiller's lawyers contend that Morrison, who changed parties to run as a Democrat against Kline in 2006, later filed the charges under pressure from Carter. She began working for Kline after the election, when he was appointed to fill out Morrison's term as Johnson County district attorney.