Bring It On!

The FBI allowed the convictions of people they knew to be innocent

March 1st, 2007 | by Craig R. Harmon |

Shelley Murphy of the Boston Globe is reporting that the FBI allowed four men whom the agency knew to be innocent to be convicted of “a 1965 gangland slaying” by “withholding critical evidence during their trial” in order to protect the identity of their informants.

The response?

Yesterday, a Justice Department lawyer argued that the FBI had no duty to share internal documents with state prosecutors and insisted the state was responsible for convicting the men in the slaying of Edward “Teddy” Deegan in Chelsea.

“The United States is not liable to plaintiffs because they were convicted as a result of a state prosecution,” Bridget Bailey Lipscomb said. “The FBI did not initiate this prosecution, and there is no duty of the FBI to submit to state or local governments any of its internal files.”

Perhaps the Department of Justice should put quote marks around the word “Justice” in its name. I’m shocked and dismayed.

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  1. 6 Responses to “The FBI allowed the convictions of people they knew to be innocent”

  2. By Dusty on Mar 1, 2007 | Reply

    The FBI did lots of nasty stuff during the 60’s and 70’s. This one doesn’t surprize me anymore than the other things I have read about, including what they did to the Black Panthers and anti-war groups during that time in our history.

    What does piss me off is that the ‘Justice Dept’ tries to defend it. This type of behavior by government officials is disgusting and shows how little they care about the rule of law..just their POV and their own hides.  

  3. By Paul Merda on Mar 2, 2007 | Reply

    Craig,

    With FBI, cops, prosecutors etc it is always about “winning” at any cost.  I think our system is completely broken, and I certainly have NO idea how to fix it.  Truth is completely secondary to the Institutions of “Justice” in this country if you ask me.  Its all about getting the conviction (whether or not the accused is guilty), closing the case and bragging about it at the bar later…

  4. By Craig R. Harmon on Mar 2, 2007 | Reply

    Paul,

    That’s a tad too cynical for my tastes. I prefer to think that most police and most prosecutors see that there’s no advantage to prosecuting the innocent, that, in most cases, they do their honest, level best, that the majority of errors are honest errors. Why? Because I think most people are like me. They see that badgering and jailing the innocent, leaves the guilty at large. They realize that crime is never going to be wiped out and, so, there’s no advantage to leaving guilty people on the loose. I think most police and prosecutors are in it to help protect society and doing this sort of thing does not protect society. That leaves a few bad apples in the barrel.

    Perhaps you’re not too cynical, perhaps I’m too trusting. In any case, this needs to be redressed.

  5. By Dusty on Mar 2, 2007 | Reply

    Craig, whats your feelings on the subject of Gonzalez firing all those Atty’s that actually did their jobs quite well? That damned Patriot Act, someone slipped in a little clause that gives Uncle AL the ability to shitcan any of them and replace them without going through COngress..nice..very nice..for BushCo.

  6. By Craig R. Harmon on Mar 2, 2007 | Reply

    Dusty,

    I tend to think I don’t like it although, I confess, I don’t know enough about the cases to be more definitive than that. I’ve read some about the cases. Obviously, prosecutors need to be held accountable for disabeying orders from above if those orders are rational and don’t overstep what is normally considered to be within a prosecutor’s discretion. What I’ve read alleges political impropriety in that one prosecutor was pressured to act more quickly in the prosecution of some Democratic official before last November’s election. I guess if the prosecutor were deliberately and unnecessarily delaying the case for his own political purposes, then removing him would not be improper but that doesn’t appear to be the case, at least from what I’ve read. On the whole these appear to be politically motivated and improper.

    That said, I’m tentatively against these removals. I’m just not well enough informed to be more certain than that.

  7. By Dusty on Mar 2, 2007 | Reply

    Thanks Craig, I see them as politically motivated as well. The San Diego one in which I have an interest since I was born and raised there, and she was instrumental in bringing Randy Duke Cunningham to justice. 

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