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October 31, 2008

Will Senator Stevens pay at sentencing for election-related comments?

I was intrigued to see from this local reporting some of what Senator Ted Stevens had to say in a debate last night about his conviction earlier this week.  Consider these excerpts:

Stevens:... [T]he case is still pending on the basis of mentions which we filed for a new trial or for a dismissal of the case for prosecutorial misconduct.  I have not been convicted of anything.... 

I’m not going to step down.  I have not been convicted.  I have a got a case pending against me, and probably the worst case of prosecutorial -- misconduct by the prosecutors -- that is known.

I had a talk this afternoon, with one of the attorneys here, a former U.S. attorney, who told me he was appalled by what went on in that case.  So I think you’ll find out.  I will succeed and I will be found innocent.

Of course, Senator Stevens was never going to have a chance to get a sentencing discount for acceptance responsibility after refusing to admit his guilt.  But I am now wondering if prosecutors might formally or informally want him punished for making these kinds of severe assertions about prosecutorial misconduct.  I have seen more than a few cases in which prosecutors have urge a sentence at the top of an applicable guideline range because a defendant was defiant in the face of a guilty verdict.  Senator Stevens is clearly defiant, and I suppose time will tell if he might pay at sentencing for this defiance.

On the topic of prosecutorial misconduct, I was also intrigued to see this local report from a few days ago:

The issue of misconduct on the part of Justice Department prosecutors has come up again in Sen. Ted Stevens' corruption trial, this time post-conviction.  A day after Stevens was convicted on seven felony counts of lying on his Senate disclosure forms, his chief lawyer, Brendan Sullivan, sent a letter of complaint to Attorney General Michael Mukasey.

Sullivan asks for the Justice Department to "commence a formal investigation into the repeated misconduct by federal prosecutors in connection with this case."  They add that the trial was "irretrievably tainted by the prosecution team's zeal to convict a high-profile but innocent defendant."  The Justice Department had no comment on the letter.

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October 31, 2008 at 02:28 PM | Permalink


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If Stevens thinks that the convinction will be reversed and indictment dismissed for prosecutorial misconduct when the trial judge refused to grant him a mistrial over that misconduct, he's living in a dream world.

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Posted by: חלקי חילוף לרכב במרכז | Jan 3, 2011 8:19:56 AM

Another liberal, big-media plot to bring down a man who has just done so much for Alaska. Those liberal elitists will stop at nothing for their so-called justice.

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