Monday, April 6, 2009

White Collar: DOJ Dismiss Charges Against Former Senator

Attorney General Eric Holder has announced that the government would seek to dismiss its indictment of former Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska. Stevens had been convicted in the fall for making false statements on his Senate disclosure form about items of value that he had received while in the Senate.

The Attorney General announced that a Justice Department review had disclosed that Stevens had been denied a fair trial by the government's failure to provide key evidence to the defense.

The possibility of prosecutorial misconduct had long hung over the Stevens trial. During the course of the trial, U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan had criticized the government attorneys for knowingly presenting false evidence and for attempting to conceal evidence favorable to the defendant.

Although Stevens survived a primary fight while the charges were pending, he lost his re-election bid by a narrow margin. The jury returned the verdict just days before the election.

The conduct of the prosecutors is under review by the Department of Justice Office of Professional Responsibility.

It will be interesting to see if internal Justice Department reviews result in the dismissal of any other cases.

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