Friday, July 27, 2012

Tomorrow Is Ted Stevens Day in Alaska--Get Outside and Enjoy It


Tomorrow is the fourth Saturday in July, and that means under a law enacted last year it is officially Ted Stevens Day.   

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Confessed Briber Rick Smith to Get Off Probation Two Years Early


Former VECO Vice President Rick Smith is scheduled to get off probation after only one year despite being ordered to serve three years of probation as part of his sentencing for his role in Alaska's biggest public corruption scandal.   Anchorage Daily News reporter Richard Mauer reports that Smith's probation officer has labeled him "a low risk to re-offend."

Monday, July 16, 2012

Former Head of DoJ's Public Integrity Section Calls for Discovery Reform While Observing that He Was Not Responsible for the Discovery Failures in the Ted Stevens Case


William M. ("Bill") Welch II, the head of the U.S. Justice Department's Public Integrity Section during much of the investigation and all of the trial of U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, has co-authored a commentary about the law regarding the process by which prosecutors provide evidence to the defense in federal criminal cases.   This process of sharing evidence is called "discovery."   

This piece by Welch and his lawyer has two points:

1.  The law of discovery in federal criminal cases should be reformed in ways that go beyond legislation proposed by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R.-Alaska).    Welch urges changing the standards in the law to make relevance rather than materiality the focus in federal criminal discovery to "ensure more robust and complete discovery to the defense."

2.  The failures in discovery in the Ted Stevens case were caused by people above and below Welch in the Justice Department and not by Welch.   In Welch's telling, those people responsible for the failures in discovery include "the overworked prosecution team" led at the Ted Stevens trial by his own No. 2, Brenda Morris  (although Welch omits her name).     

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ted Stevens' Top Lawyer Complains of Insufficient Punishment for Prosecutors


I am late to this because it appeared last week when I was out admiring the beauties of Prince William Sound and marveling at a giant snow pile in Valdez (more than 20 feet high as of last Friday).   Brendan Sullivan, Ted Stevens' chief defense lawyer, offers his analysis of the reports on prosecutorial misconduct against his client.