DOJ asks judge to set aside Stevens' conviction

Charges of prosecutorial misconduct have doomed the case against former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens.


Alex Koppelman
April 1, 2009 6:00PM (UTC)

Former Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, may have lost his race for reelection, and he may have lost his criminal trial, but there is at least one bright point for him now: He won't have a criminal conviction on his record.

The Department of Justice has asked a judge to toss Stevens' conviction and grant him a new trial, and at the same time has notified the judge that it will not actually seek the new trial. Instead, it's moving to dismiss the indictment against the former senator "with prejudice," meaning the charges can't ever be brought again.

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The decision stemmed from allegations of prosecutorial misconduct relating to the case. Specifically, the DOJ's motion cites a failure to disclose to the defense potentially exculpatory material from one interview conducted with a witness. In a statement, Attorney General Eric Holder explained, "After careful review, I have concluded that certain information should have been provided to the defense for use at trial. In light of this conclusion, and in consideration of the totality of the circumstances of this particular case, I have determined that it is in the interest of justice to dismiss the indictment and not proceed with a new trial."


Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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