Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My concern is that there are a few in the defense bar who see blood in the water...

...and are determined to attack the department’s prosecutors indiscriminately — and without any factual basis."

That was Lanny Breuer, assistant attorney general for the criminal division. John Pacenti covered the story in this week's Justice Watch column. Guy Lewis countered Mr. Breuer:

Former interim U.S. Attorney Guy Lewis, now a partner with Lewis Tein in Miami, said the pressures can be enormous. Telling an investigating agency that a completed investigation must be dropped without charges is the hardest part of the job for any prosecutor, he said. “There are going to be instances where prosecutors make mistakes. I did,” Lewis conceded. “What is important is for the prosecutor to own up to it.” He said the aggressiveness that is leading to some of the misconduct cases may stem from the war on terror. “The terrorism issue has spilled in a bad way into other more conventional-type cases,” he said. “I’m not saying aggressiveness is bad. But what I am saying is when you start throwing 95, 96, 97 mph fastballs, you got to be real careful about that.” Breuer said the Justice Department is addressing the discovery issue at the heart of the current misconduct allegations. Federal prosecutors must turn over any exculpatory evidence and evidence that could be used to impeach government witnesses. Holder is requiring all prosecutors, no matter how experienced, to take new discovery training. “We are confident that, through this comprehensive approach, we are equipped to meet our discovery obligations and minimize prosecutorial error,” Breuer said.

What do you guys think? Is there a problem out there with prosecutors and discovery? Or are defense attorneys filing motions without any factual basis? Or both?


Anonymous said...

This type of talk by a leading DOJ attorney is reckless. It foments more of the "us vs. them" defense-lawyer-hunting mentality that has plagued the Miami U.S. Attorney's Office throughout the last term.

Anonymous said...

"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings."

Anonymous said...

What is needed is a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the oversight of DOJ, especially OPR.

Chief Judge Mark Wolf reported an AUSA for withholding evidence and complained to Holder that he had to let a mafia capo out of jail because of it. Holder's office dissed the judge.

Just try reporting to OPR the withholding of evidence, the fabrication of a case and the fabrication of evidence and see the disingenuous response you receive.

There is no difference bewteen the Holder DOJ and the previous DOJ