Allegations of prosecutorial misconduct recently reverberated across the country during the federal prosecution of former Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens and threatened to undermine the public's confidence in the criminal justice system.
The presiding judge, the Honorable Emmet G. Sullivan (appointed by President Clinton in 1994) excoriated the U.S. Department of Justice's prosecutors, declaring, "[a]gain and again, both during and after the trial in this case, the Government was caught making false representations and not meeting its discovery obligations." United States v. Stevens, Criminal Action No. 08-231(EGS) (D.D.C.), Mot. Hr'g. Tr. 4 (Apr. 7, 2009).
Judge Sullivan further observed that he had "never seen mishandling and misconduct" like what he saw from the Justice Department prosecutors in the Stevens case. Id. at Tr. 3. As a final blow, Judge Sullivan dismissed the conviction and took the extraordinary step of naming a special prosecutor to investigate the conduct of the prosecutors.
In the aftermath, Attorney General Eric Holder acknowledged that mistakes had occurred: "After careful review, I have concluded that certain information should have been provided to the defense for use at trial." See Statement of Attorney General Eric Holder on Stevens Case, U.S. Department of Justice, April 1, 2009.
Following the dismissal of the indictment, a working group in the Justice Department was charged with reviewing the Department's policies, practices and training related to criminal case management and discovery and recommending areas for improvement.
Based on this group's efforts, Deputy Attorney General David W. Ogden issued a Jan. 4, 2010, Memorandum (the "Ogden Memo"), that provides guidance to prosecutors on meeting criminal discovery obligations and establishes minimum considerations for prosecutors in every case.
Specifically, it provides federal prosecutors with a framework to "avoid lapses that can result in consequences adverse to the Department's pursuit of justice." See David W. Ogden, Deputy Attorney General, Memorandum for Department Prosecutors, Guidance for Prosecutors Regarding Criminal Discovery, Jan. 4, 2010 at 1.
On January 30, Jed Davis will speak at The Knowledge Group Webcast, "Best Strategies in Protecting Your Firm Against Hackers: What Hackers Can and Cannot Do?"
Jed Davis authored the article, "Cybersecurity for the Under-Resourced" for Bloomberg BNA.
Day Pitney Newsletter
Dan Wenner wrote an article, "No Conviction, No Credit: Troubling Sentence For Cooperator," for Law360. Wenner explores why cooperation agreements don’t always work by analyzing the case United States v. Harrington, No. 15-3486, 2016 WL 4409337 (7th Cir. Aug. 19, 2016), in which the government and defendant-cooperator Richard Harrington sought resentencing under Rule 35.
Day Pitney Newsletter
Steven Cash was quoted in an article, "Senate Judiciary Committee To Be Led by Non-Lawyers," in The Wall Street Journal. In the article, Cash discusses how Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California is set to become the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, joining the committee's chairman, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa. Neither Grassley or Feinstein attended law school.
Steve Cash was named in an article, "How Two Russian Defectors Helped the FBI Nab European Mobsters Then Wound up Stranded in Oregon," in Newsweek.
Dennis Kearney was quoted in an article, "Bridgegate verdict: How long could Kelly and Baroni serve?," in The Star Ledger. In the article, Kearney discusses Bill Baroni and Bridget Anne Kelly’s sentencing in the Bridgegate trial.
Dan Wenner was quoted in an article, "Appeals could drag Bridgegate case on for another year," in The Bergen Record.
Dennis Kearney was quoted in an article, "Christie defends himself following Baroni, Kelly guilty verdicts in Bridgegate trial," in NJBiz. Kearney commented on how Gov. Chris Christie defended himself Friday in a statement after a federal jury in Newark found former aides Bridget Anne Kelly and Bill Baroni guilty of all charges for their roles in carrying out politically motivated lane closures at the George Washington Bridge in 2013.