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    Slap on wrist for prosecutors who changed history by wrongfully convicting Ted Stevens

    Slap on wrist for prosecutors who changed history by wrongfully convicting Ted Stevens

    I’ve written before about the wrongful conviction of the late Alaska Senator Ted Stevens just before the 2008 election, and how it changed history:

    So many things had to go wrong for Obamacare to evade a Senate filibuster.  Arlen Specter had to switch parties.  Al Franken had to pull out a slight victory.  And Senator Ted Stevens needed to lose reelection just after being convicted of corruption.

    If any one of those had not happened, we would not have Obamacare.

    In the Stevens case, the conviction was overturned later for prosecutorial misconduct.  But the election results stood.

    An independent report released last March detailed the prosecutorial misconduct:

    The judge who presided over the Stevens trial appointed Henry F.  Schuelke to investigate the prosecutors who handled the case. Schuelke’s  524-page report, which was unsealed this week, paints a picture of a  prosecution team so hampered by infighting that disgruntled attorneys  cut corners by assigning document-review duties to FBI and IRS agents  who were left largely unsupervised. Crucial information — including the  fact that trial witness Bill Allen had once bribed a child prostitute,  whom he’d had a relationship with, to commit perjury, and that the home  repairs in question were worth hundreds of thousands of dollars less  than originally alleged — was never given to Stevens’ defense team.

    The Justice Department has concluded its own investigation, and has given a slap on the wrist to two of the supervising attorney’s involved, with minimal suspensions:

    The Justice Department has found that two prosecutors involved in the botched 2008 corruption trial of Senator Ted Stevens engaged in “reckless professional misconduct,” but it stopped short of firing the men, saying their mistakes were not intentional.

    In a cover letter to a 672-page report provided to Congress on Thursday, alongside additional attachments and findings, the Justice Department said the two prosecutors would be suspended without pay — Joseph Bottini for 40 days, and James Goeke for 15 days….

    There was at least one major difference, however: the special prosecutor concluded that Mr. Bottini and Mr. Goeke had intentionally withheld evidence, while the Justice Department investigation found that their mistakes — while showing reckless disregard for their disclosure obligations — were not deliberate.

    As the letter linked in the quote indicated, the attorneys were deemed part of “civil service” and therefore were protected from firing except upon the most egregious circumstances, which apparently does not included recklessly convicting a sitting United States Senator up for reelection.

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    OcTEApi | May 29, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Many GOP establishment, conservatives and Tea Party people abandoned Ted Stevens who although was a prolific earmarker, he was also an effective legislator for the people of the State of Alaska.
    Alaska is a unique state where 65% is federal land, such a loss of tax base, the vast expanse requires the kind of leadership Ted Stevens brought to the table.

    I have a belief that the Tea Party is being woefully ignorant with its strict policy of booting out the old guard, people they believe are out of touch and incapable of changing along with the times.
    This mess took a long time to create and its going to take a long time to fix, and after all its my belief that the GOP has a serious problem of being out maneuvered by the democrats .. that’s one of my reasonds for supporting Newt.

    I was brokenhearted over this entire debacle.
    ” Uncle Ted” came down from the mountain to give me a hand when I needed it. He did his job, and lived the life of an advocate of the Citizens of Alaska. His interest’s were always secondary.
    Begich and the Democrats had to swing the power of the Senate to gain control. They got the job done.
    For this, I have no respect.
    My loss is personal.
    I cannot be objective in this.
    Uncle Ted is sorely missed.


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