Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Charges against Ted Stevens to be dropped

The Justice Department is moving to dismiss charges of corruption against former Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK), which cost him his seat last November.
"After careful review, I have concluded that certain information should have been provided to the defense for use at trial," Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement released this morning. "In light of this conclusion, and in consideration of the totality of the circumstances of this particular case, I have determined that it is in the interest of justice to dismiss the indictment and not proceed with a new trial."
Unfortunately, this decision will continue to fuel the "us against the world" attitude of certain Alaskan politicians (Governor Palin, Congressman Don Young, Ted Stevens), giving credibility to the idea that out in the snowy frontier they're on their own and can't count on anyone but themselves. To some, this decision may signal that the Obama Administration is unwilling to prosecute any of the misdeeds of the Bush Administration and other officials in the era of corporate/personal greed and excess.

What is curious about Attorney General Holder's statement is this:

Holder said that the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility "will conduct a thorough review of the prosecution of this matter."

"This does not mean or imply that any determination has been made about the conduct of those attorneys who handled the investigation and trial of this case," he said. “The Department of Justice must always ensure that any case in which it is involved is handled fairly and consistent with its commitment to justice. Under oftentimes trying conditions, the attorneys who serve in this Department live up to those principles on a daily basis. I am proud of them and of the work they do for the American people."

Certainly the review is in order, but shouldn't it be completed to determine if there was misconduct prior to letting Ted Stevens off the hook? And if the results of that review show that prosecutors acted appropriately, then shouldn't Ted Stevens have a cell reserved at a federal prison?

Holder seemingly contradicts himself, first by saying things weren't given to the defense during the trial, and then saying he'll conduct a review to determine if the attorneys acted appropriately. And in the process, he's absolving a man who may or may not be guilty.


Blogger Coffee Maker said...

the justice system is evidently more garbled than ever right now; they should simplify the law as much as possible for the sake of average people

April 4, 2009 4:09 PM  

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