Charges against Jefferson to stand

Charges against Jefferson to stand

There are 8 comments on the www.nola.com story from Nov 13, 2008, titled Charges against Jefferson to stand. In it, www.nola.com reports that:

Acting with unusual speed, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday rejected a request from Rep. William Jefferson's attorneys to throw out 14 of the 16 corruption charges in a federal indictment, setting the stage for a trial, probably in 2009.

A three-judge panel in the Richmond, Va.-based court rejected defense attorneys' contentions that the grand jury, before indicting Jefferson in June 2007, had heard testimony about his legislative duties in violation of a constitutional clause designed to protect the legislative branch from executive branch interference.

Jefferson, D-New Orleans, has two weeks to ask the entire 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review the ruling, or he has 90 days to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to take up an appeal. A decision not to pursue the pretrial legal appeal would result in the shortest delay in the trial, now set for Dec. 2 in Alexandria, Va.

His lawyers weren't tipping their hand Wednesday.

"We're disappointed in the decision," said Robert Trout, the chief attorney for Jefferson. "We're continuing to study the opinion and we'll be considering our options."

The 4th Circuit panel said that even if the grand jury had heard improper testimony -- and the ruling says it could find no such instances -- the indictment against the congressman must stand.

"The principle of grand jury independence is firmly rooted and jealously protected in our federal system of justice," wrote Justice Robert King in a 24-page opinion that reflected the views of the panel's two other judges. "Because it is an independent investigative body, the federal courts have consistently accorded a grand jury 'wide latitude to inquire into violations of criminal law.' "

King also cited a 1956 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that concluded a seemingly valid indictment can't be thrown out as a result of improprieties by a grand jury.

The three judges also denied Jefferson's request that the court order the trial judge, T.S. Ellis III, to review grand jury testimony for possible improprieties not already cited by the congressman's defense team.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at www.nola.com.

Smell the coffee

Paulina, LA

#1 Nov 13, 2008
Come on. Why would anybody put cash in their freezer? This guy is guilty as hell
Maybellene

Seabrook, TX

#2 Nov 14, 2008
the real question is: Why would anyone vote for this man? insanity! I would say only in Louisiana, but the Alaska voters blew that theory right out the water
Nawlins Doc

Jacksonville, FL

#3 Nov 14, 2008
Interesting how the Democratic leaders have seen fit to go slow on their judgement of Mr. Jefferson while the Republicans have shown 0 support for the not so esteemed Senator from Sarah's place.
smith100

United States

#4 Nov 15, 2008
Maybellene wrote:
the real question is: Why would anyone vote for this man? insanity! I would say only in Louisiana, but the Alaska voters blew that theory right out the water
right only in Louisiana and wonder how many dead people voted for jefferson.
smith100

United States

#5 Nov 15, 2008
wow. charges still standing. about time the law started working right.,even if he is black.
donkeyman

Yuma, AZ

#6 Nov 15, 2008
racist, how dare they charge this man.dont they know hes black and a democrat. must be a right wing conspiracy. oh well, obama will pardon him.
smith100

United States

#7 Nov 15, 2008
donkeyman wrote:
racist, how dare they charge this man.dont they know hes black and a democrat. must be a right wing conspiracy. oh well, obama will pardon him.
Yup, he is total innoncent and this is total discrimination, just cause he hid his bribes in his defreeze. Shame on the old people for indicted hime. That is Louisiana and that is down in Nagin country. Ought to be ashamed of themselves. He should give some of that frozen mone to the great nagin.
smith100

United States

#8 Nov 15, 2008
Nawlins Doc wrote:
Interesting how the Democratic leaders have seen fit to go slow on their judgement of Mr. Jefferson while the Republicans have shown 0 support for the not so esteemed Senator from Sarah's place.
Boy them democrats do no wrong, and they had to put the trail off till after the election. very suprised they didn't drop the charges. Need to put him and nagin in a cell togather. make a good pair. love this kind of justice.

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