Dismissal in Stevens case will throw out guilty verdict but won...

If, as expected Tuesday, a federal judge agrees to dismiss corruption charges against former Sen. Full Story
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KeithO

Libertyville, IL

#43 Apr 7, 2009
Opinion wrote:
<quoted text>
Lets say we agree to disagree.
I believe that Double Jeopardy applys without question in this case.
He was tried and convicted by trial. The trial was over and done with verdict was in - guilty. The trial was not stopped before the verdict was in.
That resulting conviction was dismissed by a Federal Judge at the request of the State who committed the wrongful act leading to the dismissal. There will be no appeal of the dismissal. The State cannot appeal what they requested and Senator Stevens darn sure will not.
As double jeopardy applies only to charges that were the subject of an earlier final judgment, there are some situations in which it does not apply despite the appearance of a retrial. A second trial might happen in cases where the first trial ends prematurely without a judgment of guilt.
Also clear double jeopardy exists in this case because the Federal prosecutors were acting not as fair prosecutors of the law but knowly carried out a ‘sham” on behalf of the State.
There is no way that there ever will be a second trial using the same charges.
Agreed that a new trial will never take place based on some of what you stated and other reasons such as the ex-senators age and what would a new trial accomplish for the government. However, what I posted regarding jeopardy and verdicts that a judge “sets aside” due to prosecutorial misconduct, was pulled right out of the law library. So technically, if the government really wanted to be a pain in his butt, they could go after him again.
Opinion

Winner, SD

#44 Apr 7, 2009
KeithO wrote:
<quoted text>
Agreed that a new trial will never take place based on some of what you stated and other reasons such as the ex-senators age and what would a new trial accomplish for the government. However, what I posted regarding jeopardy and verdicts that a judge “sets aside” due to prosecutorial misconduct, was pulled right out of the law library. So technically, if the government really wanted to be a pain in his butt, they could go after him again.
Thank for the intelligent postings even if we might disagree on some points.
KeithO

Libertyville, IL

#45 Apr 7, 2009
Opinion wrote:
Alan Dershowitz : The politicization of justice is inherent in the structure of the Justice department. In most other democratic and western countries the job performed by our Attorney General--who is the head of the Justice Department--is broken up into two separate and distinctly different jobs.
First there is the Minister of Justice who is a cabinet level politician with no law enforcement powers or responsibilities. His job is to advise the chief executive about policy, politics and partisanship. It is also to keep his boss in office, get him reelected and hurt his political opponents. There is no pretense of non-partisan objectivity in this highly politicized cabinet position.
Second there is the Attorney General, sometimes called the Director of Public Prosecutions whose role is to enforce the law by investigating, charging and prosecuting defendants. That position is an apolitical one, usually held by a professional prosecutor with extensive law enforcement experience and with no accountability to the president or prime minister. In countries with this division of power, there is no need for "Independent Counsel," "special prosecutors" or the like, since the permanent prosecutor is independent.
The current fiasco at the department of Justice is only one of many examples of partisanship in the administration of justice. It should push us to follow the lead of other democracies in creating two separate positions.
It is very interesting that in the State Governments the Attorney General is an elected position (at least I do not believe there are States that do not vote for the AG) and the US Government it is an appointed position by the party in executive power. Makes conflicts of interest a very real possibility. Unfortunately, I think changing it would require a constitutional amendment. But it would be a change that would be well worth it.

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