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How Can They Just Drop The Charges Of A Convicted Man?

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Me. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 08:14 AM
Original message
How Can They Just Drop The Charges Of A Convicted Man?
How is that done? The justice department can just come along and say never mind?
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spanone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 08:17 AM
Response to Original message
1. because the bu$h* justice department royally screwed up their prosecution
won't stand up to an appeal
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lazer47 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 08:22 AM
Response to Reply #1
7. You don't suppose that maybe it was planned that way ??
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spanone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 08:56 AM
Response to Reply #7
20. i don't doubt it...not for one second
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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 08:17 AM
Response to Original message
2. When you are rich and powerful, you can do anything
Questions of legality are for the little people, as American history shows repeatedly. Duh. :eyes:
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 08:18 AM
Response to Original message
3. Lots of prosecutorial misconduct going on. I don't think they could
continue with this...

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=10...

snip//

According to Justice Department officials, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has decided to drop the case against Stevens rather than continue to defend the conviction in the face of persistent problems stemming from the actions of prosecutors.

The judge in the Stevens case has repeatedly delayed sentencing and criticized trial prosecutors for what he's called prosecutorial misconduct. At one point, prosecutors were held in contempt. Things got so bad that the Justice Department finally replaced the trial team, including top-ranking officials in the office of public integrity. That's the department's section charged with prosecuting public corruption cases.

With more ugly hearings expected, Holder is said to have decided late Tuesday to pull the plug. Stevens' lawyers are expected to be informed Wednesday morning that the department will dismiss the indictment against the former senator.
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snappyturtle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 08:24 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. Do you happen to know what the prosecutorial misconduct
was...specifically? Stevens knows too much.
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 08:31 AM
Response to Reply #8
13. I do recall something about the jury being tampered with, for starters. nt
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Me. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 08:26 AM
Response to Reply #3
9. I Understand About The Misconduct
But does the justice dept have the say-so to just come along and void a conviction? And if that can be done why are people who have been cleared by DNA made to jump hurdles to get out of prison? The joke is on Stevens as he's out of the Senate but shouldn't he be re-tried?

Thanks for the link though.
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snappyturtle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 08:30 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. The DNA matter came to my mind too! I live in Texas....enough said. nt
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 08:33 AM
Response to Reply #9
15. Seems they do, though I hope a lawyer will weigh in on what the
parameters are for voiding a conviction.

Good point about cases where people are cleared through DNA. Those people need to be released immediately, and I know it doesn't happen. Our twisted justice system needs help.
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 08:19 AM
Response to Original message
4. Same reason Bill Ayers never was tried
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snappyturtle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 08:19 AM
Response to Original message
5. Does make one wonder! We are learning that there are 'special'
people and then there's 'us'. Stevens threatening to open a senatorial pandora's box so what else could Eric Holder do?
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 08:20 AM
Response to Original message
6. If They Know Their Appeal Will Fail...
This case should have been a slam dunk. The prosecution rushed to get this case to trial and it was revealed that evidence was withheld from Stevens as well as other screw ups. Now we could waste the time and money and have not only the case, but his conviction be repealed. Instead, the government has decided to punt.

Bottom line is the conviction still stands until over-ruled...and it may mean a whole new trial. But the damage is done. The dude is 85 and his career is over and this conviction will always be a part of his legacy. The fact that he no longer darkens the Senate is punishment enough.
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snappyturtle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 08:28 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. Does it bother you that Stevens has said if his conviction stands he
will tell all he knows? The powerful who could be outed are going to let the matter slide. Doubtful there will be another trial. Nothing to see here folks! imho
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 08:36 AM
Response to Reply #10
16. That Sure Sounds Like Extortion To Me...
If he was open and honest, why would he need a conviction to "tell all"? And what could he tell? How the sausage is made in Washington?

Now who are the powerful that Stevens is protecting? Sarah Palin? This wasn't a case about war profiteering or crimes against humanity. It was a small state bribery case...and, again, one that was prosecuted in a hurry that left plenty of openings for Stevens to not only appeal, but a very strong chance, due to the incompetence, to have the verdict over-turned...as well as his conviction.

It bothers me anytime a crook is let off the hook...especially a politician. But I also stand for fair trials and fear an overzealous prosecutor just as much as a corrupt politician.
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snappyturtle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #16
24. Number one, I do not think Stevens is an honest or honorable man.
Edited on Wed Apr-01-09 11:03 AM by snappyturtle
I just think he's saying, 'if I go down, others aare going with me'. I also believe it's bigger than Alaska. Think of how long Stevens was a Senator.....he probably knows a lotthat has happened over those many years. Why would he hold back if he was sent to prison? Now, if he doesn't go to prison maybe he can see his way to keep his mouth shut. :sarcasm:

edit: another thought.....keeping his mouth shut=honor among thieves!
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Me. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 08:31 AM
Response to Reply #6
14. Thank You
That answers my question. So there is a procedure and the JD can't just, technically, boom, drop something, it will have to be over-ruled.
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 08:41 AM
Response to Reply #14
17. I Expect Stevens Will Have To Appeal
Yep, dropping the case doesn't mean dropping the conviction. Eric Holder can't do that, only a judge can. I would suspect that Stevens will have to appeal to have the conviction overturned, and probably stands a very good chance of that happening. The best scenario may be a retrial...do the case right and let's see what a new jury decides.
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Me. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 08:58 AM
Response to Reply #17
21. Good
Because the way it was/is being reported and bandied about gives the impression that it's over just on the JD say-so. Cause sure isn't the way it works for anyone else, the Jenna 6 and that 17 year old boy that had consensual sex with a 16 year old come to mind.
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 08:31 AM
Response to Original message
12. Because being a powerful Senator means that you are issued one "get out of jail card" free
Hell, even if you're a not so powerful Senator or Rep, you get issued a "get off with a slap on the wrist" card as soon as you're sworn in.

There's a two tier justice system at work in this country, one sort of justice for the rich and elite, and the other tier of justice for the rest of us.
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stillcool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 08:48 AM
Response to Original message
18. Charges of prosecutorial misconduct...
Maybe Fitz will get his comeuppance as well as the Siegleman prosecutors.

Holder respects Sullivan and reportedly has watched with growing alarm as Sullivan repeatedly has scolded prosecutors for failing to follow his judicial orders to fully inform defense lawyers about everything from potentially favorable evidence to the travel plans of witnesses. During the trial, prosecutorial missteps led to the judge instructing the jury to disregard some evidence.

Sentencing has been repeatedly delayed. By last month, it was playing a back seat to charges of prosecutorial misconduct as a whistle-blowing FBI agent made complaints about improper conduct by a fellow agent and prosecutors. With a hearing scheduled in two weeks to explore those charges, Holder decided to review the case himself.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 08:51 AM
Response to Original message
19. It is reportedly
due to a "totality" of circumstances. The previous misconduct is an important factor. It is likely that the age and undisclosed health issues of the criminal is also a factor.
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Me. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 09:01 AM
Response to Reply #19
22. Thank You
I would like to see such due diligence given to all cases, if it had been the Hurricane wouldn't have spent 20 years in jail
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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 09:02 AM
Response to Original message
23. Stevens appealed the conviction, and the new Justice Department
found so many flaws in the prosecutors' case that they dropped it.

I suspect that the bush appointees prosecuting the case deliberately blew it, and were actually surprised when Stevens was convicted.

I wonder if double jeopardy can prevent them from building a new case against Stevens from the ground up.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 11:06 AM
Response to Reply #23
25. Since the case was not concluded, no sentencing, I suspect it can be re-charged.
If all charges are dropped, no double jeopardy, not?
So, can he be re-arrested on April 1, please?
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Me. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. It Is Suspected
By some, that the Bushies blew it on purpose
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Seeking Serenity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 03:55 PM
Response to Original message
27. Here's the procedure
Stevens appeals. The DOJ has withdrawn its objection to Stevens' appeal.

Appellate court finds gross prosecutorial misconduct. Appellate court sets aside conviction and remands to district court for a new trial (in cases where the evidence for conviction is so shoddy or otherwise lacking so that no reasonable jury could find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, appellate court could dismiss the case altogether).

AG's office then decides whether or not to retry (in this case, it sounds like Holder isn't going to retry the case).
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