Thursday, April 2, 2009

Justice is served?

"The Justice Department asked a judge Wednesday to toss out the corruption conviction of former Sen. Ted Stevens because prosecutors withheld evidence from his defense team.

The department is abandoning a hard-fought victory that had turned into an embarrassment. The prosecutors who handled the trial have been removed from the case and their conduct is under investigation.

The case cost Stevens the Alaska seat he had held since 1968."

The above opener was believed by many to be an April Fool's prank. At the time of the trial, I was "screaming" foul at the top of my lungs. I want to stress here, I am neither a Stevens supporter, nor detractor. My issue is with how this case, like many others, was handled by the US Government. Often, they are in such a hurry to prosecute, they often drop the ball or worse.

Although many will never be convinced he is anything but guilty, I choose to look at it otherwise. If Stevens was so guilty, why couldn't the prosecution win without cheating? In fact, the entire case was based on Stevens purposely hiding any gifts and work paid for by VECO. When asked if during his deposition, Bill Allen stated "Ted Stevens would pay bills presented to him." This bit of information was withheld from the defense team throughout the trial.

The fact was, VECO never billed for a lot of the work in question. Another point is, Ted's wife paid the day-to-day bills and Ted was not even at the home during most of the renovations. (He spent a great deal of that time in Washington, DC.)

Why the timing? Convenient this case came to a head just prior to the election. Funny how, even with the conviction, Stevens opponent won by a very narrow margin. There is no doubt the conviction was a factor.

Apparently, the concept of "innocent until proven guilty" was lost on the prosecution, the jury, and even the judge. In any other court case, with the 4 counts of misconduct by the prosecution, the case would have never gone on long enough for a conviction. This political "witch hunt" was a major injustice.

1 comment:

  1. I am trying to be as non-partisan as possible, I am a big Stevens fan.

    The thing I find troubling (besides the points you presented above) is how the winning side of the election discounts the fact that our government railroaded a sitting senator, arguably one of the most powerful positions in the entire world, and that it had little to no effect on the election. They are misdirecting the argument by saying it is a Democratic DOJ that let him off but a Republican DOJ that prosecuted as if Bush wanted Stevens to lose his seat.

    Partisan politics are infuriating.


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