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Report Scolds Terrorism Prosecutors U.S. to Drop Convictions Against Trio

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jbfam4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-02-04 04:28 PM
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Report Scolds Terrorism Prosecutors U.S. to Drop Convictions Against Trio
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A54465-2004Sep...
Report Scolds Terrorism Prosecutors
U.S. to Drop Convictions Against Trio in Detroit
By Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 2, 2004; Page A03


The Justice Department released a harshly critical review yesterday that shows that prosecutors failed to turn over dozens of pieces of evidence to defense attorneys in the first major terrorism trial after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and chronicles "a pattern of mistakes and oversights" so egregious that the government has agreed to abandon the terrorism portion of the case altogether.

A special attorney assigned to review the convictions of three alleged members of a terrorist sleeper cell in Detroit found that the prosecution withheld numerous e-mails, photographs, witness statements and other items that undercut the government's case and should have been turned over to the defense, according to a 60-page memorandum filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit late Tuesday and released yesterday.

The errors and possible misconduct were so rampant that there is "no reasonable prospect of winning" on appeal, according to the filing to U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen. As a result, prosecutors agreed to a defense request for a new trial and will pursue only document fraud charges against the three defendants, two of whom were convicted of terrorism charges last year.

The review by Craig S. Morford, a federal prosecutor in Cleveland, is particularly critical of the former lead prosecutor in the Detroit case, Richard Convertino, who, among other things, allegedly failed to turn over photographs to the defense and elicited testimony from witnesses that led the judge and other lawyers to believe they did not exist.
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indepat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-02-04 04:48 PM
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1. Justice and the rule of law: Ashcroft style
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