Tuesday, April 07, 2009

"In 25 years on the bench I have never seen anything approach the mishandling and misconduct I have seen in this case."

That was Judge Emmet Sullivan today, ordering a probe into the Ted Stevens case. Here's the AP. The coverage of the case is worth a read. From the article:

During Tuesday's hearing, Sullivan read a primer on criminal procedure, the kind of rudimentary lecture students normally receive during their first year of law school.
The judge said he has seen a troubling trend of prosecutors withholding evidence in cases against people ranging from Guantanamo Bay detainees to public officials such as Stevens. He called on judges nationwide to issue formal orders in all criminal cases requiring that prosecutors turn over evidence to defendants.
It was a stinging rebuke of the Justice Department and Sullivan called on Holder to order training for all prosecutors.

In (misconduct) news closer to home, a large internet pharmacy case was dismissed in Judge Zloch's courtroom today. You remember this one -- it's the Google jury... Here's coverage by the Health Care Fraud Blog:

In a stunning development with implications in two large prosecutions, the United States dismissed with prejudice an Indictment against 10 individuals today in a South Florida courtroom, two of whom had already plead guilty and testified in the trial against the other eight defendants. This follows an eight week trial featuring two mistrials, one based on prosecutorial misconduct and also included accusations against the government of witness tampering and the testimony of a federal prosecutor to attempt to refute the testimony that the government gave permission for one of the defendants to operate his business.


Anonymous said...


"Sullivan cited 10 examples of missteps on the part of prosecutors during and after the trial. He reminded the courtroom that prosecutors are required to turn over to defense attorneys any evidence than might show their clients in a better light — obligations that stem from a 1963 Supreme Court case, Brady v. Maryland — and he called on President Barack Obama and Holder to make sure that new U.S. attorneys understand those requirements.

"We must never forget the Supreme Court's direction that a criminal trial is a search for the truth," Sullivan said. "I urge the president and the Attorney General as they select new U.S. attorneys, to obtain from those appointees their commitment to fulfilling these most important prosecutorial obligations.""

South Florida Lawyers said...

Nicely done.

fake fred moreno said...

Meeeeester Markus!!! I am tired of reading all the bad news in your blog. How about some good news for s change? What about that doctor I gave 30 years to? Shouldn't that send a message?

Only a few more months until Notre Dame Football. I can hardly wait.

Anonymous said...

Now you add the health care fraud debacle to Acosta's resume as well. Wow, quite a record the office in the SD Fla is racking up.

Anonymous said...

Hey you left out the following from the health-care blog post:

"Prior to adjourning, Judge Zloch commented that the case had indeed been a fascinating one. Several defense attorneys thanked the Court and government attorneys for the manner in which the case was ultimately resolved."

Anonymous said...

Congratulations are in order to Sean Ellsworth.

Anonymous said...

Thanked the government attorneys for what? Screwing up so bad the indictments were ultimately dismissed with prejudice?

Anonymous said...

2:33--that's a question to ask your brethren who made the statement.