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Notice how the judge prohibited the DA from advising the jury that it can have a split verdict or defense verdict on some counts and a conviction on others.

Tomorrow may be the day for the judge to declare a mistrial.

That's what he did: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburgh...s/s_561264.html

Well, it's good to a point....and I certainly hope the Prosecution change their mind about a retrial. Otherwise poor Cyril has to go through the whole endurance test again.....and the tax payers will be paying nearly half a million dollars for nothing. It will be interesting to hear what the jurors have to say, if they are allowed to say....

A retrial will cost twice as much as what Wecht is accused of missusing by having county employees run errands and do private work on county time.

Certainly what the jurors say could influence whether the prosecution decides to go another round.

In addition, as previous trials have shown, retrails of cases with hung juries (ie Medgar Evers/Beckwith 2 hung juries before conviction), usually end the same unless new evidence and witnesses are presented.

It's highly unlikely the prosecutors didn't fire all their ammo on the first round.

BK

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Notice how the judge prohibited the DA from advising the jury that it can have a split verdict or defense verdict on some counts and a conviction on others.

Tomorrow may be the day for the judge to declare a mistrial.

That's what he did: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburgh...s/s_561264.html

Well, it's good to a point....and I certainly hope the Prosecution change their mind about a retrial. Otherwise poor Cyril has to go through the whole endurance test again.....and the tax payers will be paying nearly half a million dollars for nothing. It will be interesting to hear what the jurors have to say, if they are allowed to say....

A retrial will cost twice as much as what Wecht is accused of missusing by having county employees run errands and do private work on county time.

Certainly what the jurors say could influence whether the prosecution decides to go another round.

In addition, as previous trials have shown, retrails of cases with hung juries (ie Medgar Evers/Beckwith 2 hung juries before conviction), usually end the same unless new evidence and witnesses are presented.

It's highly unlikely the prosecutors didn't fire all their ammo on the first round.

BK

I know we have a couple of attorneys on the forum, Dawn an Tim etc, can one of them tell me if juror's from a mistrial are allowed to say how they voted? Thanks, Denis.

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This is good news.

I am mercifully not a trial lawyer and certainly not a criminal defense attorney, so I don't know about ascertaining the voting deadlock.

I suspect that the deadlock will be revealed, but I don't know the procedure or timing for it.

What irritates me is the apparent agenda-driven nature of the US Attorney who says that he will retry Wecht, even though the retrial will cost the taxpayers as much as the damages from Wecht's alleged wrongdoings.

And all this is to try to send a 77 year old dual professional to prison for the rest of his natural life for some kind of inter-office referral scheme.

Prosecutors have a lot of power and a lot of discretion.

These prosecutors got their pride hurt and they refuse to let it sit.

And the problem is that it doesn't matter who the Attorney General is (Reno, Aschcroft, Gonzalez or Mukasey), these US attorneys still run wild.

I have close friends who have been the victims of unsuccessful prosecutorial vendettas (aka defense verdicts), and the result is still a lot of anxiety and anquish, in addition to spending a lot of time and most of your money with lawyers.

How did Gonzalez and GWB miss Buchanan when they were firing US Attorneys?

Edited by Christopher Hall
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Clearly the feds are on a mission to get Dr. Wecht.

Schwab set a new trial date for May 27.

-------------------------

The story continues, unfortunately.

Edited by Joel D. Gruhn
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Notice how the judge prohibited the DA from advising the jury that it can have a split verdict or defense verdict on some counts and a conviction on others.

Tomorrow may be the day for the judge to declare a mistrial.

That's what he did: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburgh...s/s_561264.html

Well, it's good to a point....and I certainly hope the Prosecution change their mind about a retrial. Otherwise poor Cyril has to go through the whole endurance test again.....and the tax payers will be paying nearly half a million dollars for nothing. It will be interesting to hear what the jurors have to say, if they are allowed to say....

A retrial will cost twice as much as what Wecht is accused of missusing by having county employees run errands and do private work on county time.

Certainly what the jurors say could influence whether the prosecution decides to go another round.

In addition, as previous trials have shown, retrails of cases with hung juries (ie Medgar Evers/Beckwith 2 hung juries before conviction), usually end the same unless new evidence and witnesses are presented.

It's highly unlikely the prosecutors didn't fire all their ammo on the first round.

BK

I know we have a couple of attorneys on the forum, Dawn an Tim etc, can one of them tell me if juror's from a mistrial are allowed to say how they voted? Thanks, Denis.

Yes they are allowed to say. This judge has put a gag order on them, but they are free to talk. According to an email I received yesterday from longtime JFK assassination researcher Jerry Policoff, some jurors are talking, some are doing so asking that their name be kept private. I have NEVER seen a trial where both sides have not asked the jurors which way they "hung". For the DA this is a cost/benefit analysis. Meaning if only one or two were holding out for guilt the DA would not go to the incredeible expense (taxpayers) of a re-trial. If, on the other hand it was just a few holding out for aquittal (justice here) the DA would likely re-try. This is clearly a malicious prosecution (in my opinion) to convict or financially ruin one of the few good guys. ( I am surprised Gratz did not answer this question. )

As some forum members know I too have left the forum, many reasons, right now lack of time, work is on over kill, but also I have seen it taken over by too many .....well... Charlie said it well. And I see that thread has been brought back up. I agree with Don J. Great post. So I check in when I can, and consider this trial a most important issue.

Dawn

ps The infighting was something I begged to stop from the start and when Lamson basically called me a pig and that was allowed to stand, I checked out. (It was on the Controversial Issues section). There are rules here and when this violation occurred and no one did anything about it I decided the loons had taken over this place. I will miss many people here, but I have their priovate email address and can keep in touch. For me it was the same issue Tosh had. And when I posted my views on this- the LN's and other loons taking over the forum- on a Tosh thread the thread disappeared, reinforcing my opinion that I needed to leave. So unlike the others I will drop in once in awhile and post, but this place has changed a lot since I first joined. And not for the better, sadly.

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Since Pa may be HRC's last stand and is an opportunity to be done with her, I wish that each of them would weigh in on this politically-motivated prosecution.

I would also like to hear what Alan Dershowitz has to say about it.

The only part of the asseged facts which gave me trouble were supposed falsified receipts for expenses, which Wecht may or may not have prepared and submitted.

After a lengthy trial, however, at least one juror didn't think that he did so.

Some of the other counts involved items so trifling that they resemble "venial" sins (e.g. a government official having an office employee run a personal errand).

This is the kind of nonsense that the Feds are prosecuting.

I know that the citizens of Pa must feel a lot safer knowing that Buchanan is on the job.

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Appeals from John Judge and Ben Wecht

Friends,

Please respond to this appeal from Ben Wecht to stop further vindictive

prosecution of Dr.Wecht following a locked jury in his first trial.

This politically appointed Republican prosecutor started with 86 federal counts and dropped 40 of them, with each accounting anomaly made into a federal charge, and she still could not get a conviction on a single one. Now she wants to renew the prosecution. In their search for "evidence" the police confiscated not only financial records but all the research files of Dr. Wecht regarding political assassinations and controversial cases, and these have yet to be returned. He is being charged with federal crimes under BRILAB standards for a local county accounting issue, masked as "corruption".

The case so far has exhausted him financially and otherwise, and to not be convicted only to be told the same day that new charges would be brought shows the vindictive

nature of this prosecutor.

Only public exposure and pressure and support for Dr.Wecht may stay her hand. Dr. Cyril Wecht is a courageous forensic expert and co-founder as well as first president of COPA

- John Judge

Subject: An Appeal for Justice

Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2008 15:17:35 -0400

From: BEN WECHT

To: Dear Friends, Colleagues and Students,

As many of you know, the U.S. Attorney's Office here in Western Pennsylvania Tuesday announced its intention to re-try my father, former Allegheny County Coroner Dr. Cyril Wecht, on miscellaneous charges of "public corruption" immediately on the heels of U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwab's declaration of a mistrial following the government's

first such effort. The prosecutor not only wasted no time in doing so, but did not even take the customary and legally prudent step of polling the jurors to determine how they were split.

Without getting into my own thoughts on the original or ongoing motives for this prosecution, I feel it important to point out that this jury of my father's peers, following nearly two months of testimony by 44 prosecution witnesses, and despite the fact that the defense did not find it necessary to call /any/ witnesses to the stand, were unable

to return a guilty verdict on even a /single/ count - and this despite the fact that they'd extended their deliberations, under the judge's orders, far past the point of deadlock. By any reasonable standard, the case against my father would appear to lack substance at this point in time.

I'm writing to you as a son, as a Western Pennsylvanian, and as an American, to ask you to share your own opinions on this matter with the editors of our leading local daily newspapers, as well as with U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan herself. While Ms. Buchanan will not be easy to dissuade from her chosen course of action, there is reason to believe that, faced with ample public pressure, she will have no choice but to

consider her office's alternatives. And in a society (and region) faced with the multiple blights of gang warfare, drug trafficking, child pornography and other criminal activities, there is no question she has some "alternatives" to pursue.

By contrast, if a second trial is permitted to proceed, as scheduled, on May 27, the costs to both my father (financial, professional and otherwise) and to the taxpayers of Western Pennsylvania (already conservatively estimated at over $200,000) will continue to climb.

If you have any thoughts on this matter, please make your voice heard by writing to one or more of the addresses listed below. The time to act is /now, /before new charges are filed.

On behalf of my father, my family, and the cause of justice, I thank you.

Sincerely,

Ben Wecht

p.s. For those unfamiliar with the case, here are some pertinent links to recent news items:

Retry Wecht? No

<http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/opinion/archive/s_561535.html>

(http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/opinion/archive/s_561535.html)

Some jurors skeptical of case against Wecht

<http://search.post-gazette.com/redir.asp?path=/pg/08101/872086-85.stm&date=4/10/2008+4:52:00+AM>

(http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08101/872086-85.stm)

The Wecht case: pronounce it dead

<http://search.post-gazette.com/redir.asp?path=/pg/08101/872069-155.stm&date=4/10/2008+2:09:00+PM>

(http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08101/872069-155.stm)

It's over: There is no need for a second Wecht trial

<http://search.post-gazette.com/redir.asp?path=/pg/08100/871522-35.stm&date=4/9/2008+4:00:00+AM>

(http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08100/871522-35.stm)

_____________________________________________________________________________

Letters to the Editor

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

34 Boulevard of the Allies

Pittsburgh, PA 15222

FAX: 412-263-2014

EMAIL: letters@post-gazette.com

(250-word maximum)

Letters to the Editor

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

D.L. Clark Building

503 Martindale St., 3rd Floor

Pittsburgh, PA 15212

FAX: 412-320-7965

EMAIL: opinion@tribweb.com

(200-word maximum)

The Honorable Mary Beth Buchanan

United States Attorney

United States Attorney's Office

Western District of Pennsylvania

U.S. Post Office & Courthouse, Suite 400

Seventh Avenue and Grant Street

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

(NO maximum)

--

John Judge

Coalition on Political Assassinations (COPA)

PO Box 772

Washington, DC 20044

copa@starpower.net

Check out our new website:

www.politicalassassinations.com

Annual meeting in Dallas November 22-25, 2007

Hotel Lawrence - 214-761-9090 - discount room reservations "COPA 2007"

Speakers, films, books, resources, email for details

Coming up: 2008 - LA (June 6-8); DC June 10 and Dallas (November 21-23) regional meetings

National organization of medical and ballistic experts, academics and

authors, researchers and interested individuals investigating major

political assassinations in America and abroad.

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Appeals from John Judge and Ben Wecht

Friends,

Please respond to this appeal from Ben Wecht to stop further vindictive

prosecution of Dr.Wecht following a locked jury in his first trial.

This politically appointed Republican prosecutor started with 86 federal counts and dropped 40 of them, with each accounting anomaly made into a federal charge, and she still could not get a conviction on a single one. Now she wants to renew the prosecution. In their search for "evidence" the police confiscated not only financial records but all the research files of Dr. Wecht regarding political assassinations and controversial cases, and these have yet to be returned. He is being charged with federal crimes under BRILAB standards for a local county accounting issue, masked as "corruption".

The case so far has exhausted him financially and otherwise, and to not be convicted only to be told the same day that new charges would be brought shows the vindictive

nature of this prosecutor.

Only public exposure and pressure and support for Dr.Wecht may stay her hand. Dr. Cyril Wecht is a courageous forensic expert and co-founder as well as first president of COPA

- John Judge

Subject: An Appeal for Justice

Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2008 15:17:35 -0400

From: BEN WECHT

To: Dear Friends, Colleagues and Students,

As many of you know, the U.S. Attorney's Office here in Western Pennsylvania Tuesday announced its intention to re-try my father, former Allegheny County Coroner Dr. Cyril Wecht, on miscellaneous charges of "public corruption" immediately on the heels of U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwab's declaration of a mistrial following the government's

first such effort. The prosecutor not only wasted no time in doing so, but did not even take the customary and legally prudent step of polling the jurors to determine how they were split.

Without getting into my own thoughts on the original or ongoing motives for this prosecution, I feel it important to point out that this jury of my father's peers, following nearly two months of testimony by 44 prosecution witnesses, and despite the fact that the defense did not find it necessary to call /any/ witnesses to the stand, were unable

to return a guilty verdict on even a /single/ count - and this despite the fact that they'd extended their deliberations, under the judge's orders, far past the point of deadlock. By any reasonable standard, the case against my father would appear to lack substance at this point in time.

I'm writing to you as a son, as a Western Pennsylvanian, and as an American, to ask you to share your own opinions on this matter with the editors of our leading local daily newspapers, as well as with U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan herself. While Ms. Buchanan will not be easy to dissuade from her chosen course of action, there is reason to believe that, faced with ample public pressure, she will have no choice but to

consider her office's alternatives. And in a society (and region) faced with the multiple blights of gang warfare, drug trafficking, child pornography and other criminal activities, there is no question she has some "alternatives" to pursue.

By contrast, if a second trial is permitted to proceed, as scheduled, on May 27, the costs to both my father (financial, professional and otherwise) and to the taxpayers of Western Pennsylvania (already conservatively estimated at over $200,000) will continue to climb.

If you have any thoughts on this matter, please make your voice heard by writing to one or more of the addresses listed below. The time to act is /now, /before new charges are filed.

On behalf of my father, my family, and the cause of justice, I thank you.

Sincerely,

Ben Wecht

p.s. For those unfamiliar with the case, here are some pertinent links to recent news items:

Retry Wecht? No

<http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/opinion/archive/s_561535.html>

(http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/opinion/archive/s_561535.html)

Some jurors skeptical of case against Wecht

<http://search.post-gazette.com/redir.asp?path=/pg/08101/872086-85.stm&date=4/10/2008+4:52:00+AM>

(http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08101/872086-85.stm)

The Wecht case: pronounce it dead

<http://search.post-gazette.com/redir.asp?path=/pg/08101/872069-155.stm&date=4/10/2008+2:09:00+PM>

(http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08101/872069-155.stm)

It's over: There is no need for a second Wecht trial

<http://search.post-gazette.com/redir.asp?path=/pg/08100/871522-35.stm&date=4/9/2008+4:00:00+AM>

(http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08100/871522-35.stm)

_____________________________________________________________________________

Letters to the Editor

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

34 Boulevard of the Allies

Pittsburgh, PA 15222

FAX: 412-263-2014

EMAIL: letters@post-gazette.com

(250-word maximum)

Letters to the Editor

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

D.L. Clark Building

503 Martindale St., 3rd Floor

Pittsburgh, PA 15212

FAX: 412-320-7965

EMAIL: opinion@tribweb.com

(200-word maximum)

The Honorable Mary Beth Buchanan

United States Attorney

United States Attorney's Office

Western District of Pennsylvania

U.S. Post Office & Courthouse, Suite 400

Seventh Avenue and Grant Street

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

(NO maximum)

--

John Judge

Coalition on Political Assassinations (COPA)

PO Box 772

Washington, DC 20044

copa@starpower.net

Check out our new website:

www.politicalassassinations.com

Annual meeting in Dallas November 22-25, 2007

Hotel Lawrence - 214-761-9090 - discount room reservations "COPA 2007"

Speakers, films, books, resources, email for details

Coming up: 2008 - LA (June 6-8); DC June 10 and Dallas (November 21-23) regional meetings

National organization of medical and ballistic experts, academics and

authors, researchers and interested individuals investigating major

political assassinations in America and abroad.

This is a great post, Bill.

I encourage everyone to read the linked articles.

This prosecution is even more eggregious than I was aware.

It appears to me that Mary Beth Buchanan may be trying to use her position to launch herself into political office.

Am I the only one who is tired of prosecutors cum politicians (e.g. Rudy and Spitzer come to mind).

What she apparently did to former Pittsburgh Mayor Mike Murphy, a Democrat, is almost as bad.

She unsuccessfully pursued him and eventually had to drop her investigation because she had insufficient evidence to prosecute him.

Nonetheless, he had to live under the burden of having a Federal prosecutor, with unlimited resources and investigatory powers, seeking to send him to prison.

This is the same kind of nonsense that Spitzer did, leaving unduly tarnished reputations and careers in the wake of his unbridled political ambition.

Name someone as a target, try to coerce benign associates into becoming "witnesses" against their friends ("you know, Martha Stewart went to prison for lying, don't you"), and then use the full power of your office to try to imprison them.

She obviously wants to financially ruin the 77 year old doctor/lawyer, while she parlays her prosecutorial/persecutorial experience into a high-paying big firm legal career after the 2008 Presidential election.

This is our tax dollars at work.

Even as a non-trial lawyer, if I went 0 for 41 and got an apparently substantially divided jury, I would accept defeat.

If she truly wants to "end the culture of corruption", which is a phrase she "borrowed" from Nancy Pelosi, she can do so by dropping this malicious prosecution.

Like I said, I would like to hear HRC, Obama, McCain, and Dershowitz (even Arlen, for that matter) weigh in on this.

And a major kudos to the jury for doing its job.

Edited by Christopher Hall
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[quote name='Christopher Hall' date='Apr 11 2008, 07:14 PM' post='142663']

Appeals from John Judge and Ben Wecht

Friends,

Please respond to this appeal from Ben Wecht to stop further vindictive

prosecution of Dr.Wecht following a locked jury in his first trial.

This politically appointed Republican prosecutor started with 86 federal counts and dropped 40 of them, with each accounting anomaly made into a federal charge, and she still could not get a conviction on a single one. Now she wants to renew the prosecution. In their search for "evidence" the police confiscated not only financial records but all the research files of Dr. Wecht regarding political assassinations and controversial cases, and these have yet to be returned. He is being charged with federal crimes under BRILAB standards for a local county accounting issue, masked as "corruption".

The case so far has exhausted him financially and otherwise, and to not be convicted only to be told the same day that new charges would be brought shows the vindictive

nature of this prosecutor.

Only public exposure and pressure and support for Dr.Wecht may stay her hand. Dr. Cyril Wecht is a courageous forensic expert and co-founder as well as first president of COPA

- John Judge

Subject: An Appeal for Justice

Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2008 15:17:35 -0400

From: BEN WECHT

To: Dear Friends, Colleagues and Students,

As many of you know, the U.S. Attorney's Office here in Western Pennsylvania Tuesday announced its intention to re-try my father, former Allegheny County Coroner Dr. Cyril Wecht, on miscellaneous charges of "public corruption" immediately on the heels of U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwab's declaration of a mistrial following the government's

first such effort. The prosecutor not only wasted no time in doing so, but did not even take the customary and legally prudent step of polling the jurors to determine how they were split.

Without getting into my own thoughts on the original or ongoing motives for this prosecution, I feel it important to point out that this jury of my father's peers, following nearly two months of testimony by 44 prosecution witnesses, and despite the fact that the defense did not find it necessary to call /any/ witnesses to the stand, were unable

to return a guilty verdict on even a /single/ count - and this despite the fact that they'd extended their deliberations, under the judge's orders, far past the point of deadlock. By any reasonable standard, the case against my father would appear to lack substance at this point in time.

I'm writing to you as a son, as a Western Pennsylvanian, and as an American, to ask you to share your own opinions on this matter with the editors of our leading local daily newspapers, as well as with U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan herself. While Ms. Buchanan will not be easy to dissuade from her chosen course of action, there is reason to believe that, faced with ample public pressure, she will have no choice but to

consider her office's alternatives. And in a society (and region) faced with the multiple blights of gang warfare, drug trafficking, child pornography and other criminal activities, there is no question she has some "alternatives" to pursue.

By contrast, if a second trial is permitted to proceed, as scheduled, on May 27, the costs to both my father (financial, professional and otherwise) and to the taxpayers of Western Pennsylvania (already conservatively estimated at over $200,000) will continue to climb.

If you have any thoughts on this matter, please make your voice heard by writing to one or more of the addresses listed below. The time to act is /now, /before new charges are filed.

On behalf of my father, my family, and the cause of justice, I thank you.

Sincerely,

Ben Wecht

p.s. For those unfamiliar with the case, here are some pertinent links to recent news items:

Retry Wecht? No

<http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/opinion/archive/s_561535.html>

(http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/opinion/archive/s_561535.html)

Some jurors skeptical of case against Wecht

<http://search.post-gazette.com/redir.asp?path=/pg/08101/872086-85.stm&date=4/10/2008+4:52:00+AM>

(http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08101/872086-85.stm)

The Wecht case: pronounce it dead

<http://search.post-gazette.com/redir.asp?path=/pg/08101/872069-155.stm&date=4/10/2008+2:09:00+PM>

(http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08101/872069-155.stm)

It's over: There is no need for a second Wecht trial

<http://search.post-gazette.com/redir.asp?path=/pg/08100/871522-35.stm&date=4/9/2008+4:00:00+AM>

(http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08100/871522-35.stm)

_____________________________________________________________________________

Letters to the Editor

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

34 Boulevard of the Allies

Pittsburgh, PA 15222

FAX: 412-263-2014

EMAIL: letters@post-gazette.com

(250-word maximum)

Letters to the Editor

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

D.L. Clark Building

503 Martindale St., 3rd Floor

Pittsburgh, PA 15212

FAX: 412-320-7965

EMAIL: opinion@tribweb.com

(200-word maximum)

The Honorable Mary Beth Buchanan

United States Attorney

United States Attorney's Office

Western District of Pennsylvania

U.S. Post Office & Courthouse, Suite 400

Seventh Avenue and Grant Street

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

(NO maximum)

--

John Judge

Coalition on Political Assassinations (COPA)

PO Box 772

Washington, DC 20044

copa@starpower.net

Check out our new website:

www.politicalassassinations.com

Annual meeting in Dallas November 22-25, 2007

Hotel Lawrence - 214-761-9090 - discount room reservations "COPA 2007"

Speakers, films, books, resources, email for details

Coming up: 2008 - LA (June 6-8); DC June 10 and Dallas (November 21-23) regional meetings

National organization of medical and ballistic experts, academics and

authors, researchers and interested individuals investigating major

political assassinations in America and abroad.

This is a great post, Bill.

I encourage everyone to read the linked articles.

This prosecution is even more eggregious than I was aware.

It appears to me that Mary Beth Buchanan may be trying to use her position to launch herself into political office.

Am I the only one who is tired of prosecutors cum politicians (e.g. Rudy and Spitzer come to mind).

What she apparently did to former Pittsburgh Mayor Mike Murphy, a Democrat, is almost as bad.

She unsuccessfully pursued him and eventually had to drop her investigation because she had insufficient evidence to prosecute him.

Nonetheless, he had to live under the burden of having a Federal prosecutor, with unlimited resources and investigatory powers, seeking to send him to prison.

This is the same kind of nonsense that Spitzer did, leaving unduly tarnished reputations and careers in the wake of his unbridled political ambition.

Name someone as a target, try to coerce benign associates into becoming "witnesses" against their friends ("you know, Martha Stewart went to prison for lying, don't you"), and then use the full power of your office to try to imprison them.

She obviously wants to financially ruin the 77 year old doctor/lawyer, while she parlays her prosecutorial/persecutorial experience into a high-paying big firm legal career after the 2008 Presidential election.

This is our tax dollars at work.

Even as a non-trial lawyer, if I went 0 for 41 and got an apparently substantially divided jury, I would accept defeat.

If she truly wants to "end the culture of corruption", which is a phrase she "borrowed" from Nancy Pelosi, she can do so by dropping this malicious prosecution.

Like I said, I would like to hear HRC, Obama, McCain, and Dershowitz (even Arlen, for that matter) weigh in on this.

And a major kudos to the jury for doing its job.

Great posts Bill, Peter and Chris. This story is not getting any national attention either, the media is ignoring it because of who Cyril is to us. So in addition to the above names to contact I'd add MSNBC's Dan Abrams and Keith Olbermann (sp?). The media needs to publicize this major injustice.

Dawn

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I regret that Chris Hall, who I had the pleasure of meeting a few months ago, has picked up the mantra that the Wecht trial constitutes "malicious prosecution".

Chris, can you advise members of the necessary elements of "malicious prosecution" and what evidence exists to support that claim?

Can we agree at least that it is morally indefensible to create a false invoice for a limousince ride? And probably illegal as well--particularly when a county employee is used in the process.

I would agree however that the case ought not be retried.

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FBI speaks to Wecht jurors. This case gets worse by the day.

Chairman Conyers Deeply Troubled by FBI Juror Interviews in Cyril Wecht Mistrial

April 11th, 2008 by Jesse Lee

Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers released the following statement in response to reports today that the FBI is attempting to interview jurors in the Cyril Wecht mistrial:

I am deeply troubled by reports of FBI agents contacting former jurors who failed to convict Dr. Wecht. Whether reckless or intended, it is simply common sense that such contacts can have a chilling effect on future juries in this and other cases. When added to the troubling conduct of this prosecution, there is the appearance of a win at all costs mentality. The committee continues to investigate this matter.

FBI Contacts Jurors After Wecht Mistrial

WTAE TV - April 11, 2008

Two jurors in Dr. Cyril Wecht’s federal trial told WTAE Channel 4’s news exchange partner, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, that the FBI wants to talk with them.

U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwab declared a mistrial after the Wecht jury said it was deadlocked on Tuesday. A new trial for the ex-Allegheny County coroner is scheduled for next month.

Two of the deadlocked jurors said the FBI called them this week and asked for interviews.

U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan’s office said it’s common for an investigating agency to call jurors when a case ends in a deadlock. Margaret Philbin, a representative for Buchanan, said the FBI was simply setting up appointments so prosecutors could discuss the case with the jurors.

The jurors said they found the found the FBI’s request unusual and intimidating.

Wecht’s attorney, Jerry McDevitt, told the Trib he was “troubled” by the FBI’s contact with jurors.

Wecht faces a 41-count indictment, mostly on wire and mail fraud charges. Prosecutors allege that he used the coroner’s office to benefit his private pathology practice.

Democrats Were Targets in Inquiries, Panel Is Told

Philip Shenon, New York Times - October 24, 2007

Richard L. Thornburgh, attorney general in the Reagan and first Bush administrations, charged Tuesday that political reasons motivated the Justice Department to open corruption investigations against Democrats in Mr. Thornburgh’s home state, Pennsylvania.

In testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, Mr. Thornburgh became the first former Republican attorney general to join with Democratic lawmakers to suggest that the Justice Department under Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales had singled out Democratic politicians for prosecution.

Later in the story:

Mr. Thornburgh noted that Ms. Buchanan had conducted a series of high-profile corruption investigations against Pennsylvania Democrats in the months before the 2006 midterm elections, including the one against the former coroner, Cyril Wecht.

“During this same period, not one Republican officeholder was investigated and/or prosecuted by Ms. Buchanan’s office — not one,” Mr. Thornburgh said, noting that there had been accusations of corruption against two prominent Republican members of Congress from Pennsylvania in that same period. He said that Dr. Wecht, a nationally prominent forensic pathologist, “would qualify as an ideal target for a Republican U.S. attorney trying to curry favor with a department which demonstrated that if you play by its rules, you will advance.”

Dr. Wecht, who is scheduled to go on trial next year, has been charged with 84 criminal counts, including theft and mail fraud, much of it involving his use of a government fax machine and postage meter. Mr. Thornburgh described the prosecution as “bizarre.”

Watch Mr. Thornburgh’s testimony (pdf) from the October 23, 2007 hearing:

Thornburgh: “It should also be noted that of these three high profile, very public, Democratic prosecutions, one resulted in a misdemeanor macing plea; one resulted in no plea and an alternative resolution; and Dr. Wecht’s case remains pending. All three Democrats were frontpage stories during the run-up to the 2006 election. The damage was done by widespread media coverage with little apparent concern as to whether justice was meted out. During this same period not one Republican officeholder was investigated and/or prosecuted by Ms. Buchanan’s office. Not one. Although a whistleblower in Republican Congressman Tim Murphy’s office accused the Congressman of using paid staff members in his election campaign, no investigation was conducted that we are aware of.”

This entry was posted on Friday, April 11th, 2008 at 2:18 pm by Jesse Lee and is filed under Civil Rights, Draining the Swamp, Oversight. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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A retrial will cost twice as much as what Wecht is accused of missusing by having county employees run errands and do private work on county time.

Certainly what the jurors say could influence whether the prosecution decides to go another round.

In addition, as previous trials have shown, retrails of cases with hung juries (ie Medgar Evers/Beckwith 2 hung juries before conviction), usually end the same unless new evidence and witnesses are presented.

It's highly unlikely the prosecutors didn't fire all their ammo on the first round.

BK

Is it your position that a crime shouldn't be prosecuted if it costs more than the crime itself?

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