Federal Judges Act On Prosecutor Misconduct


The Ted Stevens case this week is only the latest example of recent cases in which federal judges have taken extraordinary steps to correct what they see as prosecutorial misconduct, reports Politico.com. One veteran trial lawyer who practices in Washington said long-serving judges are often deeply outraged by government misconduct because they realize how many defendants have seen their fates sealed based on promises or assurances from prosecutors.In other cases, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in Washington, D.C., removed a Justice Department lawyer from a Guantanamo detainee case for flouting several deadlines, then lambasted his supervisor for submitting a “shockingly revisionist” sequence of events to the court. In Miami, Judge Alan Gold complained of “flagrant violations” by prosecutors who did not disclose the existence of secret recordings of a defense lawyer for a doctor charged with prescription fraud. Also in Washington, Judge John Bates, cited a failure to turn over evidence as he ordered a new trial for a man convicted of illegal business dealings with Iran. Bates said he had “grave concerns” about the government's actions, which “severely prejudiced” the defendant's fair trial rights.

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