June 3, 2009
Wecht Case Over
There is no press release on the website of the US Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania announcing the dismissal of the case against Cyril Wecht. But one seldom finds a US Attorney's Office posting a press release on a case dismissal - it always seems to be the indictments and convictions that they are anxious to report. (shouldn't a minister of justice report all instances of justice?).
But the press is reporting that the charges against Cyril Wecht have been dropped. See Paula Reed Ward, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Wecht charges dropped; Eric Heyl, TribLive, Buchanan's big case slams shut for good; Joe Mandak, Philly.com (AP),U.S. drops charges against pathologist
This, too, isn't surprising as key evidence was tossed from this case last month. (see here) This case started with many counts against Cyril H. Wecht (see Indictment). The initial trial that lasted 7 weeks with the government presenting 44 witnesses. It resulted in a hung jury.
On my wish list this past year to President Barak Obama was that his administration
- Conduct an investigation on cases such as former Alabama Governor Siegelman and Cyril Wecht and if politics played any role - do the right thing
A dismissal renders this issue moot, and that's OK. Everyone needs to move on.
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I wouldn't be surprised to see Wecht try to recoup his attorney's fees from the government pursuant to the Hyde Amendment.
Posted by: Thaddeus Hoffmeister | Jun 3, 2009 1:32:23 PM
Your wish list item is not moot as to Siegelman -- quite the opposite now that the Eleventh Circuit has affirmed most of his convictions and the lame-duck U.S. Attorney is seeking a vindictive re-sentencing.
Posted by: Peter G | Jun 3, 2009 3:45:43 PM
Two reasons the matter is not moot as to Wecht: 1. Great harm has been done to Wecht, who went through Hell for three years and had to spend a fortune on his defense. 2. And the U.S. Attorney who brought these charges is still in office and still has the power to wreck lives.
Posted by: Peter | Jun 3, 2009 7:44:20 PM
Amen to removing US Attorneys who are not playing Kosher
Posted by: Laser Haas | Jun 5, 2009 11:47:26 AM