Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Government Dismisses Scrushy Appeal

According to the Birmingham Business Journal (here ) the government has dismissed its appeal of the three perjury counts that had been struck down by the district court at trial. Judge Bowdre dismissed these three counts noting that "[t]he Government represented on the record to the court that it has no evidence of perjury apart from Mr. Scrushy's S.E.C. deposition. As a result, the perjury counts, Counts 30, 31, and 32, of the Superseding Indictment based on that testimony will be dismissed at the appropriate time." 

To pursue a case without merit would clearly be improper and the double Jeopardy clause of the Constitution raised serious questions about the government's appeal (see here).

Doing the right thing can sometimes be difficult, but the government has clearly done this today in the case of Richard Scrushy.  Applause to Prosecutor Alice Martin for not only dismissing the appeal, but for changing her mind publicly.  It is difficult to have stood before the public and advocated a position of proceeding with the appeal in this case, and then turn around and dismiss the matter. The lesson she teaches all here is that prosecutors need to be flexible in positions that they take.  Oftentimes they need to rethink their actions after they have examined and studied the issues fully.


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