Sunday, April 5, 2009
The government filed a motion to dismiss the case against Ted Stevens, former senator from Alaska.(see here and here). And I immediately congratulated our new Attorney General on being a true "minister of justice" in a matter that appeared to warrant correction. As noted by Solomon Wisenberg over at Letter of Apology here, there are many lessons to be learned by prosecutors - most of all regarding the 302s, statements produced by the FBI when they interview witnesses. Wisenberg notes that when exculpatory information is obtained from a witness, in whatever form, that information is required to be turned over to the defense.
But it looks like someone else also wants it - the judge. Judge Emmet G. Sullivan entered two orders today (Sunday) - both sua sponte. He asks the government to provide by April 6th at 10:00 a.m. "all material gathered post-trial and produced to the defendant." Additionally he also asks the government to produce some materials including "exculpatory evidence, witness interviews, 302s, and affidavits" regarding one witness interview.
A second Order of the court requires all "government agencies involved in the investigation and/or prosecution of Senator Stevens [to] immediately preserve any and all documents related to this matter, including but not limited to emails, notes, memorandua,"...etc.
Gosh, wouldn't this all be simpler if we just went to videotaping all interviews. In this technology age it sure would help to have everything on playback.