Last week, when the case against Ted Stevens was dropped for prosecutorial mishandling, we heard about evidence that was withheld from the defense. It happens all the time, but rarely is it so severe that anything comes of it, at least not influencing the disposition of the case.
As in the Coleman/Franken case, the judge usually finds out about it and chews out the lawyers. Occasionally the judge will throw out a case.
Now if you were one of those defendants who doesn’t have a lot of money for expensive lawyers, you’d never even know it happened to you. They’d probably get away with it every time, which obviously is not the way the justice system is supposed to work in this country.
But for the case to be completely dropped, rather than merely seeking a retrial of some sort had to mean that the case was so ‘poisoned’ by whatever had been done that it could not be retried.
There was even speculation that the Bush administration was responsible for making sure that the case would inevitably be thrown out on appeal, thus being an embarrassment for everyone involved, except of course Ted Stevens, who is claiming that this is proof he never did any of the things that they said he did.
Well, of course we assumed that maybe somebody would get a slap on the wrist, or some Bush appointee would get pushed out of their job a bit early and end up getting wealthy writing slanted books rewriting history as fiction and giving interviews on hate radio claiming persecution by liberal fascists.
Not so. It seems that we really will find out wtf was happening.
“In nearly 25 years on the bench, I’ve never seen anything approaching the mishandling and misconduct that I’ve seen in this case,” U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan said.
And then he appointed a special prosecutor to figure out exactly what happened and bring the criminals in the department to justice.
In case there is any confusion about what “justice” might mean in a case like this, they are looking at disbarment and prison time.
The word is that the Bush administration has salted the employment rolls of the current administration with hangovers who are ‘moles’, undercover operatives waiting to take orders from Bush, Cheney, Rove, and the Republican caucus and sabotage whatever the Obama adminstration tries to do.
Let’s get the criminals out of there. Now.