Leaked text messages between one of Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s deputies and the lead investigator in the Freddie Gray case are raising new concerns about whether politics played a role in the decision to charge six officers with his death. Fox News’ Trace Gallagher reported that the leaked messages suggest that the prosecutors planned to charge the officers, regardless of what the evidence showed.
As Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski noted in his now much-quoted opinion in United States v. Olsen: “There is an epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct abroad in the land. Only judges can put a stop to it.”
A prosecutor “is the representative not of an ordinary party to a controversy, but of a sovereignty whose obligation to govern impartially is as compelling as its obligation to govern at all; and whose interest, therefore, in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be done.” Berger v. United States, 295 U.S. 78, 88 (1935).
Crime, Government, Oops, Convict
A man who spent nearly 25 years on California's death row was freed Thursday after his conviction in the rape and killing of his girlfriend's nearly 2-year-old daughter was overturned. Vicente Benavides, 68, was released from San Quentin State Prison following a judge's order, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Benavides, who had been on death row since June 1993, was freed after the state Supreme Court ruled last month that false medical testimony was presented at his trial.
Crime, Government, Incompetence, Justice, Law, Murder
A former Harris County prosecutor withheld a key email that helped establish a clear alibi for Alfred Dewayne Brown in the high-profile murder case that eventually sent him to death row, District Attorney Kim Ogg said late Friday.
Brown, now 36, spent nearly 10 years awaiting execution before his case was dismissed and he was freed in 2015. He later sued Harris County, the DA's office, the prosecutor and police officer who handled the murder case, among others...
Brown, however, always said he was innocent, that he had been at his girlfriend's apartment at the time of the murders. The proof, he said, was a phone call he'd made to his girlfriend at work that morning. For years, officials claimed they had no record of the call.
Brown's conviction was overturned by an appeals court in 2014 after investigator Breck McDaniel discovered phone records in his garage that corroborated Brown's alibi. At the time, the district attorney's office said the phone document must have been inadvertently misplaced.
Crime, Government, Incompetence, Justice, Corruption, Law, Murder
The former district attorney who successfully prosecuted Anthony Graves for capital murder, sending Graves to prison for 18 years for a crime he did not commit, has been disbarred, according to state bar officials. Former Burleson County District Attorney Charles Sebesta Jr. lost his law license after an administrative hearing into Graves' case. Graves was freed from prison four years ago after serving more than 18 years for the 1992 murder of six Burleson County residents. On two occasions, he was scheduled to be executed.
Democrat, Government, Lie, Justice, Corruption, Law
Court documents released Wednesday show a grand jury concluded there are reasonable grounds to charge the state’s top prosecutor with perjury, false swearing, official oppression and obstruction after an investigation into leaks of secret investigative materials... Kane, a former prosecutor in Lackawanna County, took office in 2013 as the first woman and first Democrat elected as state attorney general.
The Justice Department's tactics remind Dershowitz of the words of Stalin's secret police chief, Lavrentiy Beria, who said, "Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime." "This is an outrageous prosecution and is certainly a misuse of resources," charged Dershowitz. "It raises the question of why he is being selected for prosecution among the many, many people who commit similar crimes.
Government, Incompetence, Justice, Law
In an unprecedented and, as yet, unexplained move, the U.S. Department of Justice is conceding that a Greeneville oncologist and his office manager wife were wrongfully convicted... The move is extraordinary on a number of fronts. It comes after the Sens were publicly accused, tried and sentenced in a case deemed so important U.S. Attorney Bill Killian announced the couple’s indictment and, later, their conviction via news releases.
Government, Incompetence, Justice, Law
It took 24 years, but eventually it became clear that there had been much more to Fleming's alibi defense, and that Leeper had failed to disclose it to the jury.
The original case file from 1990 contained a time-stamped receipt showing that Fleming had paid an Orlando hotel phone bill just hours before Rush's murder. The file also contained a letter from the Orlando Police Department informing Brooklyn detectives that Fleming had been seen at the hotel around the time of the killing. By law, Leeper was obligated to turn that material over to Fleming's lawyer. But he had disclosed none of it.
Government, Incompetence, Oops, Justice, Law
A Long Island man says he went from being a Merrill Lynch manager to a shattered school janitor after the feds — in a terrible case of mistaken identity — arrested him at work and threatened to ship him off to Mexico to face charges that he had sex with minors. Philip Simone, a married dad from New Hyde Park, is suing the government in Brooklyn federal court for $2.75 million, claiming his life went to pot after they wrongly busted him for being a child molester.
Crime, Government, Character, Oops, Lie, Justice, Law
An assistant district attorney was verbally berated and banished from a Bronx judge’s courtroom after failing to reveal evidence that would have freed a man held at Rikers Island on bogus rape charges, The News has learned... “To my mind, this is an utter and complete disgrace — not just for you, but for your office in general,” Bronx Criminal Court Judge John Wilson told Bronx assistant district attorney Megan Teesdale before dismissing the case on March 21.
Government, Incompetence, Justice, Law
Hundreds of federal prosecutors over the past decade have committed serious misconduct, but the Justice Department has refused to release the names of the offenders, according to a report released Thursday. From 2002 through last year, the department’s office of professional responsibility documented more than 650 infractions. Most were categorized as “reckless” or “intentional misconduct,” the Project on Government Oversight reported.
Crime, Government, Fraud, Corruption, Law, Convict
For what may be the first time on record, a former prosecutor in Texas is going to jail for failing to turn over exculpatory evidence in a murder trial. The 10-day jail sentence for the prosecutor, Ken Anderson, is insultingly short — the victim of his misconduct, Michael Morton, spent nearly 25 years in prison.
Government, Incompetence, Oops, Justice, Law
A Chicago man who spent more than 30 years behind bars before DNA evidence helped overturn his conviction in the rape and killing of a 3-year-old girl was released from prison late Friday, just hours after prosecutors dropped the case against him. An Illinois appeals court in March had ordered a new trial for 50-year-old Andre Davis after tests found that DNA taken from the scene of the 1980 killing of Brianna Stickle wasn't his. The girl was attacked in Rantoul, about 20 miles north of Champaign.
Government, Character, Oops, Bigbrother, Greed, Law
A Tewksbury motel owner who just beat back U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz’s three-year bid to seize his business has become the latest critic to accuse the Hub’s top fed of prosecutorial bullying. “It’s bullying by the government. And it’s a huge waste of taxpayer money,” said Caswell, whose father built the motel in 1955. “This has been a huge financial and physical toll. It’s thrown our whole family into turmoil. You work for all your life to pay for something and these people come along and think it’s theirs. It’s just wrong. The average person can’t afford to fight this.” In a written decision after a November trial, U.S. Magistrate Judge Judith Gail Dein dismissed the government’s forfeiture action, ruling yesterday that Caswell, “who was trying to eke out an income from a business located in a drug-infested area that posed great risks to the safety of him and his family,” took all reasonable steps to prevent crime. “The Government’s resolution of the crime problem should not be to simply take his Property,” Dein said in her decision.
William L. Anderson, an economics professor at Frostburg State University, once wrote of the law, “Have you ever taken a longer lunch break than what you are supposed to do? Have you made a personal phone call at work or done personal business on your employer’s computer? Have you ever had a contract dispute with an employer or client? All of those things can be criminalized by an enterprising federal prosecutor.
Editorial, Election, Government, Corruption, Law
After the trial, new prosecutors — appointed after the original prosecutors were held in contempt for failing to produce documents — discovered that the government had engaged in wrongdoing affecting the case’s most important evidence. The conduct was so outrageous that newly appointed Attorney General Eric Holder concluded the case should immediately be dismissed. And when trial Judge Emmet Sullivan (no relation) dismissed the case in April 2009, he said it was the worst misconduct he had seen in 25 years on the bench. -Brendan V. Sullivan Jr.
Crime, Government, Scandal, Smears, Bigbrother, Corruption, Law
Two Department of Justice prosecutors have been suspended without pay and a Senate Democrat has scheduled a committee hearing following the release Thursday of a DOJ report that detailed the government’s misconduct in its botched case against the late Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska). The DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) released its 672-page report on the Stevens case to top ranking lawmakers after more than two years of investigating the alleged wrongdoing of the federal prosecutors waging a criminal lawsuit against the veteran senator.
DURHAM (WTVD) -- Linwood Wilson - former investigator to Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong - was arrested at his home by Durham sheriff's deputies Thursday evening. According to court documents, deputies served Wilson with a felony extradition warrant stemming from alleged harassment of his estranged wife in Delaware.
Democrat, Crime, Hate, Academia, Convict, Hoax
District Attorney Mike Nifong was disbarred Saturday for his "selfish" rape prosecution of three Duke University lacrosse players — a politically motivated act, his judges said, that he inexplicably allowed to fester for months after it was clear the defendants were innocent.
The prosecutors’ misconduct destroyed Stevens‘ reputation and political career and affected the balance of power in the U.S. Senate in favor of Democrats. Circumstances were not entirely different in the prosecution of former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who was accused by local Democratic prosecutor Ronnie Earle to influence state elections with corporate money. -Jeffrey Scott Shapiro, Washington Times
Democrat, Liberal, Crime, Election, Government, Obama, Fraud, Corruption
A former Justice Department attorney who quit his job to protest the Obama administration's handling of the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case is accusing Attorney General Eric Holder of dropping the charges for racially motivated reasons. J. Christian Adams, now an attorney in Virginia and a conservative blogger for Pajamas Media, says he and the other Justice Department lawyers working on the case were ordered to dismiss it.
Democrat, Liberal, Election, Violence, Obama, Racism, Threats, Justice, Law
The Justice Department is ignoring civil rights cases that involve white victims and wrongly abandoned a voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party last year, a top department official testified Friday. He called the department's conduct a "travesty of justice."
Crime, Election, Hate, Violence, Threats
On the day President Obama was elected, armed men wearing the black berets and jackboots of the New Black Panther Party were stationed at the entrance to a polling place in Philadelphia. They brandished a weapon and intimidated voters and poll watchers.
Government, Justice, Law
Seventy years after South Carolina executed a 14-year-old boy so small he sat on a phone book in the electric chair, a circuit court judge threw out his murder conviction. On Wednesday morning, Judge Carmen Mullins vacated the decision against George Stinney Jr., a black teen who was convicted of beating two young white girls to death in the small town of Alcolu in 1944.
Government, Incompetence, Oops, Justice, Law, Convict
At least 139 convicted defendants in the United States were exonerated last year, and most owe it to the work of lawyers in prosecutors’ offices and private organizations dedicated to finding wrongful convictions.
Such “professional exonerators” were responsible for more than half of the exonerations in 2017 and have been a driving force in overturning wrongful convictions in recent years, according to a new report from the National Registry of Exonerations, which tracks such cases.