Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Perp Walk

Check out a wonderful article in the National Law Journal here by William R. Mitchelson Jr., a former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida and Mark T. Calloway, a former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, who both now work at the law firm of Alston & Bird.  This article provides defense counsel with some excellent advice on how to deal with prosecutors to avoid having a client disgraced and disadvantaged by being put through a "perp walk."  The authors note the prosecution's use of this tactic in many white collar cases.

Perhaps showing the world the discretion afforded the government in making the decision to use a perp walk in arresting a client as opposed to just asking the accused to appear for the fingerprinting ritual, will at last expose this disgraceful tactic employed by the government.



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Excellent insight into this publicity and coercion tactic. It confirms the obvious in the treatment of Michelle Valencia and Jamie Olis of Dynegy. Michelle was arrested in front of her children after repeated efforts to turn herself in. Jamie Olis was not informed of an indictment unlike his boss and his co-worker who were allowed to surrender themselves. Instead multiple FBI agents were dispatched to his home in the early morning to arrest him with guns drawn on his pregnant wife. This was the same man who was allowed to self-surrender to prison for a 24.3 year sentence and did. Interesting that Houston prosecutors reserved this aggressive and intimidating treatment for two minorities (and their families) that were mid to low level at that company and who would not say they were criminals. Lawful and laudable practice? Or simply the basest of intimidating and prejudiced strategies to damage and coerce these people? You can guess at my opinion.

Posted by: FJO | Mar 22, 2006 8:18:37 AM

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