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Federal Prosecutors Break Laws For Convictions

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  • Legalbear
    Federal Prosecutors Break Laws For Convictions (Sent by Att. Gary Zerman, Lt. Commander-In-Chief of J.A.I.L., gzerman@hotmail.com )
    Message 1 of 2 , May 6, 2003
    • 0 Attachment
      Federal Prosecutors Break Laws For
      Convictions (Sent by Att. Gary Zerman, Lt.
      Commander-In-Chief of J.A.I.L.,
      gzerman@... )
      _________________________________________________________________

      Federal Prosecutors Break Laws for Convictions,
      Says 10-Part Series in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette;
      Chicago Tribune Finds Similar Abuses Among
      State Prosecutors IN THE COURTS
      January-February 1999

      In November and December 1998, the
      Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published a landmark
      10-part series by veteran investigative reporter Bill
      Moushey on prosecutorial misconduct and
      corruption. The investigative report alleges that
      Federal agents and prosecutors across the U.S.
      repeatedly break the law in pursuit of convictions
      (Bill Moushey, "Win at all Costs: Government
      misconduct in the name of expedient justice,"
      Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, reprint of articles from
      November 22, 23, 24, 29, and December 1, 6, 7, 8
      and 13, 1998).

      The two-year investigation by Post-Gazette
      reporter Bill Moushey found numerous examples
      of prosecutors lying, concealing evidence,
      distorting the facts, engaging in cover-ups, paying
      for perjured testimony, and prosecuting innocent
      people to win guilty pleas and convictions. In
      addition, the paper reported that Federal officials
      were rarely punished for their misconduct. The
      misconduct caused victims to lose their jobs, their
      assets and even their families, according to the
      paper.

      The U.S. Justice Department denied the
      allegations. "Our prosecutors live by strict,
      comprehensive and effective ethical rules," said
      spokesperson Myron Marlin.

      However, the Justice Department is
      aggressively seeking the repeal of the Citizens
      Protection Act (P.L. 105-277, Section 801),
      passed last year in the Omnibus Spending bill,
      which requires Federal prosecutors to abide by the
      bar ethics rule in the states in which they work. The
      measure is scheduled to take effect in April. The
      Justice Department argues that the new law would
      deny them important prosecutorial tactics, such as
      using wiretaps, informants or other undercover
      techniques against certain types of suspects (Eric
      Lichtblau, "Justice Dept. Contends Law Would
      Handcuff Prosecutors," Los Angeles Times
      (National Edition), February 2, 1999, p. A3).

      CHICAGO TRIBUNE FINDS
      PROSECUTORS BREAKING RULES AND
      SUBVERTING JUSTICE

      A similar 6-part series in the Chicago Tribune

      found that overzealous prosecutors across the
      U.S. are skirting ethical rules and subverting
      justice. The Tribune reviewed thousands of court
      records and appellate court decisions across the
      U.S. and found that since 1963 at least 381
      defendants have had a homicide conviction
      dismissed because prosecutors either concealed
      exculpatory evidence or presented evidence that
      was untrue. Sixty-seven of those defendants were
      sentenced to die. None of the prosecutors involved
      were convicted of criminal charges or banned from
      practicing law, according to the paper (Ken
      Armstrong and Maurice Possley, "The verdict:
      Dishonor," Chicago Tribune, January 8, 1999; Ken
      Armstrong, "'True patriot' not quite a shining star,"
      Chicago Tribune, January 9, 1999; Maurice
      Possley and Ken Armstrong, "The flip side of a
      fair trial," Chicago Tribune, January 11, 1999;
      Maurice Possley and Ken Armstrong, "Prosecution
      on trial in DuPage," Chicago Tribune, January 12,
      1999; Ken Armstrong and Maurice Possley,
      "Reversal of fortune," Chicago Tribune, January
      13, 1999; Ken Armstrong and Maurice Possley,
      "Break rules, be promoted," Chicago Tribune,
      January 14, 1999).

      In an editorial, the Dallas Morning News
      wrote: "Considering the tens of thousands of cases
      tried nationwide since 1963, the 381 convictions
      may seem inconsequential. They aren't. Homicide
      cases account for only a fraction of all criminal
      cases. No one knows how many aggravated
      assault, rape and armed robbery trials may have
      been tainted by unethical conduct." (Editorial,
      "Wrongful convictions," Dallas Morning News,
      January 14, 1999).

      [Considering that drug cases are the largest
      category of cases in the criminal justice system
      (there were 1.5 million drug arrest in 1996, for
      example) and that 400,000 prisoners are serving
      sentences for drug convictions, it is probable that
      many thousands of such cases were "tainted by
      unethical conduct." Certainly, the cases examined
      by PBS's Frontline documentary "Snitch" were so
      tainted. -- RCT]

      The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report is
      available on-line at
      <http://www.post-gazette.com/win/default.asp> or
      contact the paper at 34 Boulevard of the Allies,
      Pittsburgh, PA 15222-1204, Tel: (412) 263-1100 or
      (800) 228-6397, Fax: (412) 391-8452.

      Bill Moushey - 34 Boulevard of the Allies,
      Pittsburgh, PA 15222, Tel: (412) 263-1887, Fax:
      (412) 391-8452, E-mail: <bmoush@...>.

      The Chicago Tribune report is on-line at
      <http://www.ndsn.org/JANFEB99/www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/>,

      click on "Trial and Error" on the left-hand side.
      Contact authors Ken Armstrong - E-mail:
      <karmstrong@...>, Tel: (312) 222-4661
      or Maurice Possley - E-mail:
      <mpossley@...> , Tel: (312) 222-3401.

      U.S. Department of Justice - 950
      Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20530,
      Tel: (202) 514-2001, Web: <www.usdoj.gov>.

      To obtain the PBS Frontline documentary
      "Snitch," contact Frontline, WGBH-TV, 125
      Western Ave., Boston, MA 02134-1008, Tel: (617)
      492-2777, Fax: (617) 254-0243, E-mail:
      <frontline@...>, Web:
      <www.wgbh.org/frontline>..

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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    • Bowman7a
      Federal Prosecutors Break Laws for Convictions, Says 10-Part Series in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Chicago Tribune Finds Similar Abuses Among State
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 16, 2003
      • 0 Attachment
        Federal Prosecutors Break Laws for Convictions, Says 10-Part Series in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Chicago Tribune Finds Similar Abuses Among 
        State Prosecutors

        IN THE COURTS

        January-February 1999

        In November and December 1998, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published a landmark 10-part series by veteran investigative reporter Bill Moushey on prosecutorial misconduct and corruption. The investigative report alleges that Federal agents and prosecutors across the U.S. repeatedly break the law in pursuit of convictions (Bill Moushey, "Win at all Costs: Government misconduct in the name of expedient justice," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, reprint of articles from November 22, 23, 24, 29, and December 1, 6, 7, 8 and 13, 1998).

        The two-year investigation by Post-Gazette reporter Bill Moushey found numerous examples of prosecutors lying, concealing evidence, distorting the facts, engaging in cover-ups, paying for perjured testimony, and prosecuting innocent people to win guilty pleas and convictions. In addition, the paper reported that Federal officials were rarely punished for their misconduct. The misconduct caused victims to lose their jobs, their assets and even their families, according to the paper.

        The U.S. Justice Department denied the allegations. "Our prosecutors live by strict, comprehensive and effective ethical rules," said spokesperson Myron Marlin.

        However, the Justice Department is aggressively seeking the repeal of the Citizens Protection Act (P.L. 105-277, Section 801), passed last year in the Omnibus Spending bill, which requires Federal prosecutors to abide by the bar ethics rule in the states in which they work. The measure is scheduled to take effect in April. The Justice Department argues that the new law would deny them important prosecutorial tactics, such as using wiretaps, informants or other undercover techniques against certain types of suspects (Eric Lichtblau, "Justice Dept. Contends Law Would Handcuff Prosecutors," Los Angeles Times (National Edition), February 2, 1999, p. A3).

        CHICAGO TRIBUNE FINDS PROSECUTORS BREAKING RULES AND SUBVERTING JUSTICE

        A similar 6-part series in the Chicago Tribune found that overzealous prosecutors across the U.S. are skirting ethical rules and subverting justice. The Tribune reviewed thousands of court records and appellate court decisions across the U.S. and found that since 1963 at least 381 defendants have had a homicide conviction dismissed because prosecutors either concealed exculpatory evidence or presented evidence that was untrue. Sixty-seven of those defendants were sentenced to die. None of the prosecutors involved were convicted of criminal charges or banned from practicing law, according to the paper (Ken Armstrong and Maurice Possley, "The verdict: Dishonor," Chicago Tribune, January 8, 1999; Ken Armstrong, "'True patriot' not quite a shining star," Chicago Tribune, January 9, 1999; Maurice Possley and Ken Armstrong, "The flip side of a fair trial," Chicago Tribune, January 11, 1999; Maurice Possley and Ken Armstrong, "Prosecution on trial in DuPage," Chicago Tribune, January 12, 1999; Ken Armstrong and Maurice Possley, "Reversal of fortune," Chicago Tribune, January 13, 1999; Ken Armstrong and Maurice Possley, "Break rules, be promoted," Chicago Tribune, January 14, 1999).

        In an editorial, the Dallas Morning News wrote: "Considering the tens of thousands of cases tried nationwide since 1963, the 381 convictions may seem inconsequential. They aren't. Homicide cases account for only a fraction of all criminal cases. No one knows how many aggravated assault, rape and armed robbery trials may have been tainted by unethical conduct." (Editorial, "Wrongful convictions," Dallas Morning News, January 14, 1999).

        [Considering that drug cases are the largest category of cases in the criminal justice system (there were 1.5 million drug arrest in 1996, for example) and that 400,000 prisoners are serving sentences for drug convictions, it is probable that many thousands of such cases were "tainted by unethical conduct." Certainly, the cases examined by PBS's Frontline documentary "Snitch" were so tainted. -- RCT]

        The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report is available on-line at <http://www.post-gazette.com/win/default.asp>
        or contact the paper at 34 Boulevard of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222-1204, Tel: (412) 263-1100 or
        (800) 228-6397, Fax: (412) 391-8452.

        Bill Moushey - 34 Boulevard of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, Tel: (412) 263-1887, Fax: (412) 391-8452,
        E-mail: <bmoush@...>.

        The Chicago Tribune report is on-line at <http://www.ndsn.org/JANFEB99/www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/>, click on "Trial
        and Error" on the left-hand side. Contact authors Ken Armstrong - E-mail: <karmstrong@...>,
        Tel: (312) 222-4661 or Maurice Possley - E-mail: <mpossley@...> , Tel: (312) 222-3401.

        U.S. Department of Justice - 950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20530, Tel: (202) 514-2001,
        Web: <www.usdoj.gov>.

        To obtain the PBS Frontline documentary "Snitch," contact Frontline, WGBH-TV, 125 Western Ave.,
        Boston, MA 02134-1008, Tel: (617) 492-2777, Fax: (617) 254-0243, E-mail: <frontline@...>, Web:
        <www.wgbh.org/frontline>.�



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