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 on: February 17, 2009, 04:45:32 PM 
Started by Sydney Carton - Last post by Sydney Carton
   The prosecutors are not only in contempt;they just got kicked off the case!
Stevens' prosecutors removed from misconduct proceedings
TRIAL AFTERMATH: Move comes on heels of contempt ruling.


Published: February 16th, 2009 09:12 PM
Last Modified: February 17th, 2009 08:33 AM

The Justice Department said Monday it has removed the legal team that prosecuted former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens from further post-trial proceedings that concern allegations of government misconduct.
   The terse announcement, made as part of a larger filing by prosecutors, leaves questions unanswered about the scope of the decision. A spokeswoman for the Justice Department declined to elaborate.

The latest turn of events in the increasingly bitter and messy aftermath of Stevens' conviction in October follows the contempt ruling against three Justice Department attorneys last week by U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan of the District of Columbia.

Sullivan, who presided over Stevens' trial, cited the lawyers for not following his orders to turn over internal Justice Department files about an FBI whistle-blower to Stevens. Sullivan said he would withhold for the time being a decision about how to punish the government lawyers.

The four-page filing by prosecutors Monday was mainly a public notice that the government had decided to not stand on its claim that the material sought by the defense was protected by attorney work-product privilege, a rule that usually prevents having to turn material over to the other side.

 "In deciding to release these materials to the defendant, the government acknowledges the importance of resolving the pending post-trial motions as expeditiously as possible," the prosecution wrote. "By foregoing any further litigation about the release of these documents, it hopes to avoid distractions and remain focused on the post-trial motions defendant has filed -- motions that include claims of prosecutorial misconduct before and during his trial."

The filing announced the replacement of the original team of attorneys led by the Justice Department's Public Integrity Section from "litigation relating to allegations of misconduct in this matter." The team is headed by William Welch, chief of that office, and his main deputy, Brenda Morris, who was the lead attorney in the Stevens trial. Also affected are two other lawyers in that office, Nicholas Marsh and Edward Sullivan, and two on special assignment from the U.S. Attorney's office in Anchorage, Joe Bottini and James Goeke.

Replacing them will be Paul O'Brien, chief of the Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section, David Jaffe, deputy chief of the Domestic Security Section, and William Stuckwisch, senior trial attorney in the Fraud Section.

Defense arguments of misconduct figure into several demands for a new trial or dismissal of charges by Stevens' attorneys, mainly involving the allegations of Anchorage FBI agent Chad Joy and a witness in the case, Dave Anderson.

Joy, part of the team investigating political corruption in Alaska since 2004, said the lead agent in the probe grew too close to sources and violated policy then, with prosecutors, worked to prevent Stevens from obtaining favorable evidence before and during the trial. Anderson, the government's final witness, said he gave false testimony about a plea deal he believed he had with the government, and that prosecutors knew it.

The government has denied wrongdoing but hasn't publicly answered the allegations in any detail.

The defense cites other issues in its demand for a new trial that have nothing to do with misconduct by prosecutors, such as a decision by the judge to hold the trial in Washington, D.C., instead of Alaska, or juror misconduct. It is unclear whether the initial prosecution team will continue to work on those issues, or what will happen if the judge orders a new trial.

Find Richard Mauer online at adn.com/contact/rmauer


 on: February 16, 2009, 06:15:04 PM 
Started by Sydney Carton - Last post by Sydney Carton

Dissent in Florida Supreme Court Would Grant Wayne Tompkins Hearing after "Bombshell Disclosure" by Jailhouse Informant

Washington, D.C. –Florida may execute Wayne Tompkins soon despite new revelations that the state prompted a trial witness to lie. Tompkins was to be executed in Florida on October 28, 2008, but was granted a stay of execution to allow time for the state Supreme Court to review his case. On November 7, the court denied Tompkins' appeal, even though the court acknowledged that a state witness admitted to providing false testimony at Tompkins' original trial in 1985. Justice Harry Anstead dissented from the court's ruling and underscored the gravity of the new information: If a trial witness was fed information by the prosecution, it "could change the jury's entire evaluation of the case," he wrote.

Tompkins was convicted of murdering his girlfriend's daughter, Lisa DeCarr, and burying her under a house in Tampa in 1983. He has always maintained his innocence. One of the key witnesses who testified against Tompkins was an inmate who shared a jail cell with him while Tompkins was awaiting trial. That inmate, Kenneth Turco, recently admitted that the prosecutor prompted him to give false testimony about the victim's purse during the trial. Turco claims that the rest of his testimony, in which he recounted an alleged confession by Tompkins, was true.

Justice Anstead would have granted Tompkins an evidentiary hearing regarding what he called "flagrant misconduct" by the state. He said that the prosecutor's actions, if true, amounted to tampering with a witness. "Imagine here a jury already concerned with the credibility of a jailhouse snitch now being told that a critical part of his testimony was fabricated by the state's prosecutor," he wrote. "Surely, common sense would tell us this is the kind of 'bombshell' disclosure that could change the jury's entire evaluation of the case." (Tompkins v. Florida, Nos. SC 08-992, -1979, -2000, Nov. 7, 2008) (Anstead, J., dissenting in part).

     Unfortunately this judge was only one of five.

 on: February 16, 2009, 05:49:30 PM 
Started by Sydney Carton - Last post by Sydney Carton
   Just in this minute. Thanks ssdgo.

As anticipated, Duke filed an answer to National Union’s counterclaim on February 12, 2009. You won’t be able to follow the response without a copy of the counterclaim handy. So, I suggest you open the counterclaim in one window and Duke’s answer in another.

NU’s Counterclaim, Filing 9 (Note that the counterclaim begins on page 24):


Duke’s Answer, Filing 16:



 on: February 16, 2009, 05:47:23 PM 
Started by TalkLeft - Last post by Sydney Carton
 Duke replies  to its insurers who feel that Duke should pay the players out of iits own pockets.

   One minute ago Post #15 

Joined:Apr 28, 2008

As anticipated, Duke filed an answer to National Union’s counterclaim on February 12, 2009. You won’t be able to follow the response without a copy of the counterclaim handy. So, I suggest you open the counterclaim in one window and Duke’s answer in another.

NU’s Counterclaim, Filing 9 (Note that the counterclaim begins on page 24):


Duke’s Answer, Filing 16:


Thanks to sdsgo



 on: February 16, 2009, 05:11:56 PM 
Started by J. Elliott - Last post by Sydney Carton
  Sorry to be so slow,hp.I finally found a web link that runs Levicy's complete terstimony as well as that of most(all?)of the other witnesses who gave evidence at Nifong's hearing.
   I further managed to lose it again iin press of all the other legal news breaking over the last weekend.The wrongful Florida execution,the FLDS girls freed,the Senator Stevens prosecutors charged by Judge with Nifonging,the new Blago Senator back again on bribe charges,the approximately 5000 juveniles steamrollered into jail by two Pennsylvania judges;Tommy Arthur murder case up tomorrow in Alabama,that is what I call the most  really eventful injustice weekend  in a long,long, time.
   But I will post the Duke link shortly and let any newcomers decide for themselves who has been unjustly assailed in all this. As the classic Chinese would have it,"One viewinig is worth ten thousand words."

 on: February 16, 2009, 04:55:31 PM 
Started by hp4578 - Last post by Sydney Carton
   Thanks for this,hp.
     So many people don't have the facts straight.They can't  be re-asserted often enough.
       Further,as Cooney points out,it cost the boys three million dollars plus to prove their innocence in a case which  should ,at worst,been dismissed in night court twenty-four hours after it first  began.
   If Reade(who was far from being fabulously wealthy) had not his case tied to Colin and Dave's,he would almost certainly have gone down,and Elmo could well have gone next(and after been deported) for truthfully telling what  he saw.
   The underprivileged of Durham (instead of cursing these kids out) should be grateful that the players are fighting this case in hopes that  that as a result Durham(and North Carolina) will be forced  to reform their justice systems so that every citizen in the future can have the benefit of honest  public investigations,not such criminally twisted  ones as cost the players most dear.

 on: February 16, 2009, 04:35:41 PM 
Started by Sydney Carton - Last post by Sydney Carton
    The hearing is postponed till tomorrow.

 on: February 16, 2009, 02:52:43 PM 
Started by Sydney Carton - Last post by Sydney Carton
   Related Items

Sen. Burris adamantly denies misleading Ill. House
Associated Press Writer

Posted: Today at 11:53 a.m.

CHICAGO — One month after Roland Burris was sworn in to the U.S. Senate to represent Illinois and fill Barack Obama's vacant seat, he's hearing calls for his resignation.

"I can't believe anything that comes out of Mr. Burris at this point," state Rep. Jim Durkin said. "I think it would be in the best interest of the state if he resigned because I don't think the state can stand this anymore."

Durkin and House Republican Leader Tom Cross want an investigation of Burris for possible perjury.

Their statements come after Burris over the weekend released a Feb. 5 affidavit that he filed with the Illinois House committee investigating the impeachment of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. The affidavit contradicts statements he made last month in front of the committee, before being sworn in Jan. 15.

The discrepancy could mean he perjured himself.

On Sunday, an adamant Burris told reporters at a combative press conference in Chicago that he hadn't done anything wrong and never misled anyone.

"I've always conducted myself with honor and integrity," said Burris, 71. "At no time did I ever make any inconsistent statement."

Burris' office released the affidavit after its existence was first reported by the Chicago Sun-Times. The U.S. senator said Sunday he spoke to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and senior Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin and "they understand what's going on."

Reid spokesman Jim Manley confirmed Burris told Reid about the affidavit Friday.

"Clearly it would have been better if Senator Burris had provided this information when he first testified," Manley said. "Senator Reid is reviewing the affidavit and will await any action by Illinois legislative leaders after they review the matter."

Durbin spokeswoman Christina Angarola said Burris told Durbin about the affidavit on Friday, but didn't provide a copy.

Gov. Pat Quinn, who advanced to the governor's mansion after Blagojevich was ousted over corruption allegations last month, also called on Burris to explain the contradiction.

"My opinion is that he owes the people of Illinois a complete explanation," Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said, according to Quinn spokesman Bob Reed.

According to the affidavit, Blagojevich's brother, Robert Blagojevich, called Burris three times - once in October and twice after the November election - to seek his fundraising assistance.

The disclosure reflects a major omission from Burris' testimony in January when an Illinois House impeachment committee specifically asked if he had ever spoken to Robert Blagojevich or other aides to the now-deposed governor about the seat vacated by President Barack Obama.

Burris explained Sunday that he never got a chance to answer a direct question about Blagojevich's brother, and submitted the Feb. 4 affidavit to clarify.

However, transcripts of Burris' impeachment committee testimony show he had opportunities to provide a full response to Illinois legislators. In one instance, when asked directly about speaking to Robert Blagojevich and other associates of the former governor, Burris consulted with his attorney before responding.

Robert Blagojevich's attorney has said that his client believes one of the conversations was recorded by the FBI.

Burris said Sunday that he told Robert Blagojevich he would not raise money because it would look like he was trying to win favor from the governor for his appointment.

"I did not donate one single dollar nor did I raise any money or promise favors of any kind to the governor," he said.

It's not clear what action state legislators could now take against Burris, said Northwestern University law professor and former Illinois Comptroller Dawn Clark Netsch.

"I'm not aware that anything quite like this has happened in any state before," she said.

 on: February 16, 2009, 02:39:04 PM 
Started by Sarah - Last post by Sydney Carton
   We were too charitable,Sarah.He wasn't actually guilty of the murder but onlly participated in the cover up.Since he felt no guilt for the murder,this would not cause any reaction from the polygraph.

 VideoJohnson pleads guilty in Brittany Willis murder case
 Related LinksWRAL.com archive: James Johnson case
James Johnson case at a glance
 On The WebWRAL reporter Mike Charbonneau on Twitter
 Site Search 
James Johnson pleads guilty in Willis murder case

Posted: Today at 6:00 a.m.
Updated: 7 minutes ago

Wilson, N.C. — A Wilson man charged with helping to cover up the rape and murder of a 17-year-old girl nearly five years ago pleaded guilty under an Alford plea Monday.

James Johnson, 22, pleaded to "attempted misprision of a felony" in connection with the June 28, 2004, slaying of Brittany Tyler Willis.

Johnson pleads guilty in Brittany Willis murder case

Resident Superior Court Judge Milton Fitch accepted a request from the defense for a prayer for judgment, meaning no conviction will appear on Johnson's record and the charge will be listed as pending indefinitely.

However, if Johnson is ever charged with another crime or convicted of a crime, he could still be sentenced in the Willis case.

Under an Alford plea, an individual does not admit guilt but acknowledges that the state has enough evidence for a conviction. Misprision of a felony means failing to notify authorities of a crime and is punishable by a maximum of 15 months in prison.

Johnson and another man, Kenneth Meeks, were initially charged with murder, rape and kidnapping in the case. Meeks plead guilty in April 2006 and, in a letter to the Wilson Daily Times, declared Johnson's innocence.

Johnson spent more than three years in jail on the murder charge, held on $1 million bond. He was released in September 2007 after his bond was reduced.

Forsyth County Assistant District Attorney Belinda Foster dismissed the charges against Johnson in December 2007. He was re-charged as an accessory after the fact to first-degree murder.

"Anything I do today will not bring Brittany Willis back. Anything I do today will not give the defendant Johnson his 39 months back," Fitch said Monday.

McFadyen, a retired district attorney serving as a special prosecutor in the case had asked Fitch for a probationary sentence. Fitch's ruling means Johnson will serve no further punishment in this case.

"We are satisfied with what happened here today," Willis' father, Randy Willis, said prior to Fitch's ruling. "We are just ready to move forward and find some closure."

Jurors chosen last week – seven women (two black and five white) and five men (three black and two white) – were picked from Edgecombe County, in part, because of pretrial publicity about allegations of prosecutorial misconduct and about racial division over the case. Johnson is black; Willis was white.

Johnson's parents have said that he admits to wiping fingerprints off Willis' SUV, but that he was under duress because Meeks showed him a gun. Willis had been kidnapped in her SUV before she was killed.

Johnson went to Wilson police about the crime three days later. According to court documents, Meeks has said that is why he initially blamed Johnson.

"I think he did do the right thing. I'm just sorry it took him the length of time to do it," Fitch said Monday.

Johnson's supporters, who include the state NAACP, have said they believe the state should have also dismissed the accessory charge and say that Johnson should be considered a hero for turning in Meeks to police.

Other than the statement Monday, Willis' family has spoken very little about the case.

The NAACP said it will likely issue a statement later Monday.

A recording of Monday's proceedings will be posted on WRAL.com later this afternoon and will also air at 8 p.m. on the WRAL NewsChannel.

 on: February 16, 2009, 02:27:21 PM 
Started by Sydney Carton - Last post by Sydney Carton
 kpb writes:
  Within the next few days there should be one more child non-suited. The ranch leaders and parents of that child are meeting with their attorneys right now to go over the paperwork.

I guess there is a fine line between admissions and forced admissions when one is working to keep custody of their child.

"Admit your guilt and we'll provide a quick death!"

The state will then be left with ONE of the 469 original hostages. Merrianne, who they do have in a foster home and have an extension of time that could allow them to keep her until October.

I am not sure how her suit will progress. Texas, naturally not having Open Discovery in criminal cases, faces a bigger problem holding back on that discovery in a Family Code case. I am certain, from what has transpired so far, that they do not want to share all the discovery that a Final Hearing in Merrianne's suit would bring about, at least not until their strategy for the criminal trials are sorted out.

A rather ironic thing or two about the Merrianne's case is that her brother was non-suited long ago and the state claims Merrianne could be in danger of being married off. Can't imagine who would marry the "spiritual wife" of their Prophet.

The age she married (12), whether or not it was consummated (records indicate there was not time for such), and the fact that the Prophet has a child with another wife that was conceived when she was about 15 is a cultural matter that I do not agree with (stupid IMO). They seem to mature sooner than what most would call "normal", with the goal in life to produce children, but the age they marry is a legal matter even the FLDS does not wish to challenge now.

While I anticipate a few will be held responsible for violating laws (if Texas can squeeze in the evidence they have), and they prolly should be, I have a hard time accepting what crimes they would be convicted of. Any convicted will face the same punishment as a man that rapes an infant, a case with a complaining victim. A mix of stupidity on one side and vengeance on the other.

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