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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?

No, absolutly Not. All crimes should be prosecuted. And they should be given priority, with homicide being the number one crime that should be prosecuted to the fullest.

As for the crimes Dr. Wecht is accused of committing, he has already been tried, and the jury could not come to a conviction.

Should he be tried again?

The accussed assassin of Medgar Evers was tried twice, both ending in a hung jury, much like Dr. Wecht's jury, but twenty years later, after obtaining NEW evidence that neither of the previous two hung juries had seen, a young DA in Mississippi got a grand jury indictment and a jury conviction, based mainly on the combination of the old evidence and the NEW evidence.

If Wecht is to be tried again, it should not be based on the same old evidence that a jury has already seen and failed to convict.

It is quite apparent that the jury and justice has seen all the evidence that the FBI and Federal Prosecutors could come up with, and after all the publicity this trial has obtained, it should have generated additional whistle blowers who were equally screwed by Dr. Wecht and can boyster the prosecution's case. That is usually what happens when sexual offenders are prosecuted, new witnesses come forward. But not in this case. Where are all the other victims of Wecht's crimes? There aren't any.

Now look at the JFK assassination, and all the crimes that have been committed from homicide, manslaughter, conspiracy, destruction of evidence, obstruction of justice, perjury, etc....yet where are the vigourous prosecutors who want to weed out this "culture of corruption." ?

Where are the prosecutors who will prosecute those who have committed these crimes and the real criminals behind them?

Bill Kelly

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Good post Bill. I'd only add to that where are the Prosecutors or Members of Congress to deal with the crimes of this Administration, and those done by and to past ones, as well.

I wrote a strongly worded email to Rep. Conyers' Office [Head of Judiciary Committee] about the Wecht Trial. They are investigating it and might be able to pull in the reigns on this out of control Prosecutor cum Persecutor. I'd also suggest letters to the editors of the two newspapers above. I think [just my guess] the mindset of the Prosecutor is such that they will ignore any letters sent to them. They are on a Jihad and don't let facts or the will of the People - nor the Law - get in their way. If enough pressure is brought on them and some of the excesses that went on before and now after the trial are made Public, things just might change. Conyers Webpage is here [with his email address] http://www.house.gov/conyers/

Also, you can add your name to the MFF letter at their website. Here is the letter:

Letter from the MFF to U.S. Attorney Buchanan

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

Dear Ms. Buchanan,

We are writing to urge you to cease the prosecution of Dr. Cyril Wecht. After weeks of deliberation, the jury was unable to reach a guilty verdict on a single count. The government has had its day in court and, in the words of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, it's time to stop. We respectfully ask that you reconsider an apparent decision to retry this case and spend more taxpayer money pursuing an unfounded case against Dr. Wecht.

Those of us who have met Dr. Wecht find him to be a man of outstanding civic-mindedness and integrity. He put his reputation on the line during his tenure on the House Select Committee on Assassinations in the late 1970s, and has put his expertise and knowledge to great use since then. The renowned programs and reputation of the Cyril H. Wecht Institute for Forensic Science and Law at Duquesne University speak for themselves.

There are undoubtedly far better uses of your office than continuing to pursue this case - one which has led even jurors to question the motivation behind Dr. Wecht's prosecution.

One way to remove these questions would be to admit that the case against Dr. Wecht was found to be unproven, and bring the tarnishing of his name to a close.

Sincerely,

Rex Bradford, Senior Archivist, Mary Ferrell Foundation

Tyler Weaver, Executive Director, Mary Ferrell Foundation

Amy Agyepong, archivist, Mary Ferrell Foundation

Randolph Benson, Duke University's Center for Documentary Studies

Michael J. Cain, author

Bill Holiday, educator, Brattleboro High School

Mark Bridger, editor, Dealey Plaza Echo

Jeffrey L. Worcester II, Director, JFKMI

Colin McSween, actor and researcher

Peter Dale Scott, author

Susan Barnes, supporter of Dr. Wecht

David R. Wrone, Professor of History, Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

William Carter, Canadian Civil Servant

Lamar Waldron, author

Chris A. Bradford, researcher

Brenda Brody, researcher

David Reitzes, researcher

Barry Keane, Vice-Chairman, Dealey Plaza UK

John E. Shumaker, researcher

Carole Wilson, researcher

Gary Buell, citizen

Peter D. Antill, researcher

Chris Lightbrown, journalist

James Sawa, Pittsburgh researcher

John Geraghty, researcher

Donald B. Thomas, concerned citizen

Mike Dworetsky, Dealey Plaza UK

Lisa Pease, author and researcher

David H. Stern, M.D.

Alaric Rosman, retired teacher and researcher

Dick Russell, author

http://www.maryferrell.org/wiki/index.php/...Dr._Cyril_Wecht

****************************************************************

"http://www.maryferrell.org/wiki/index.php/...Dr._Cyril_Wecht"

Peter, could you do me an extra large favor?

I'm having a hard time entering my name to the list at Mary Ferrell's. I've registered and I keep getting an error from my stmp.yahoo.mail server, which is not accepting my password. And, I've tried the main 3 ones I've used over the years at different sites, but it won't take any of them.

If you could, please enter me as: Theresa C. Mauro ARRT(N)/CNMT/CTNM Nuclear Medicine

Thank you so much. I hope this is feasible. In the meantime, I'll hook up with my friend, Allen, and see if we can find a way to correct this mail issue .

Ter

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Good post Bill. I'd only add to that where are the Prosecutors or Members of Congress to deal with the crimes of this Administration, and those done by and to past ones, as well.

I wrote a strongly worded email to Rep. Conyers' Office [Head of Judiciary Committee] about the Wecht Trial. They are investigating it and might be able to pull in the reigns on this out of control Prosecutor cum Persecutor. I'd also suggest letters to the editors of the two newspapers above. I think [just my guess] the mindset of the Prosecutor is such that they will ignore any letters sent to them. They are on a Jihad and don't let facts or the will of the People - nor the Law - get in their way. If enough pressure is brought on them and some of the excesses that went on before and now after the trial are made Public, things just might change. Conyers Webpage is here [with his email address] http://www.house.gov/conyers/

Also, you can add your name to the MFF letter at their website. Here is the letter:

Letter from the MFF to U.S. Attorney Buchanan

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

Dear Ms. Buchanan,

We are writing to urge you to cease the prosecution of Dr. Cyril Wecht. After weeks of deliberation, the jury was unable to reach a guilty verdict on a single count. The government has had its day in court and, in the words of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, it's time to stop. We respectfully ask that you reconsider an apparent decision to retry this case and spend more taxpayer money pursuing an unfounded case against Dr. Wecht.

Those of us who have met Dr. Wecht find him to be a man of outstanding civic-mindedness and integrity. He put his reputation on the line during his tenure on the House Select Committee on Assassinations in the late 1970s, and has put his expertise and knowledge to great use since then. The renowned programs and reputation of the Cyril H. Wecht Institute for Forensic Science and Law at Duquesne University speak for themselves.

There are undoubtedly far better uses of your office than continuing to pursue this case - one which has led even jurors to question the motivation behind Dr. Wecht's prosecution.

One way to remove these questions would be to admit that the case against Dr. Wecht was found to be unproven, and bring the tarnishing of his name to a close.

Sincerely,

Rex Bradford, Senior Archivist, Mary Ferrell Foundation

Tyler Weaver, Executive Director, Mary Ferrell Foundation

Amy Agyepong, archivist, Mary Ferrell Foundation

Randolph Benson, Duke University's Center for Documentary Studies

Michael J. Cain, author

Bill Holiday, educator, Brattleboro High School

Mark Bridger, editor, Dealey Plaza Echo

Jeffrey L. Worcester II, Director, JFKMI

Colin McSween, actor and researcher

Peter Dale Scott, author

Susan Barnes, supporter of Dr. Wecht

David R. Wrone, Professor of History, Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

William Carter, Canadian Civil Servant

Lamar Waldron, author

Chris A. Bradford, researcher

Brenda Brody, researcher

David Reitzes, researcher

Barry Keane, Vice-Chairman, Dealey Plaza UK

John E. Shumaker, researcher

Carole Wilson, researcher

Gary Buell, citizen

Peter D. Antill, researcher

Chris Lightbrown, journalist

James Sawa, Pittsburgh researcher

John Geraghty, researcher

Donald B. Thomas, concerned citizen

Mike Dworetsky, Dealey Plaza UK

Lisa Pease, author and researcher

David H. Stern, M.D.

Alaric Rosman, retired teacher and researcher

Dick Russell, author

http://www.maryferrell.org/wiki/index.php/...Dr._Cyril_Wecht

****************************************************************

"http://www.maryferrell.org/wiki/index.php/...Dr._Cyril_Wecht"

Peter, could you do me an extra large favor?

I'm having a hard time entering my name to the list at Mary Ferrell's. I've registered and I keep getting an error from my stmp.yahoo.mail server, which is not accepting my password. And, I've tried the main 3 ones I've used over the years at different sites, but it won't take any of them.

If you could, please enter me as: Theresa C. Mauro ARRT(N)/CNMT/CTNM Nuclear Medicine

Thank you so much. I hope this is feasible. In the meantime, I'll hook up with my friend, Allen, and see if we can find a way to correct this mail issue .

Ter

Ter, I'd gladly do so, but it won't take my name or any name...either a computer glich or a hacking trick. I'll try later.....anyone in touch with Rex to sort this out?!

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

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The federal prosecutor has had her shot at Cyril Wecht. It's time to call it a day.

Despite hundreds of exhibits, 44 witnesses, 10 weeks in court and 10 days of deliberations, the jury in the public corruption trial of the former Allegheny County coroner failed to reach a verdict yesterday on any of the charges. This was a case, don't forget, that began with 84 criminal counts, which were then reduced to 41, covering mail fraud, wire fraud and theft from an organization receiving federal funds.

On Tuesday it added up to a big zero. Still, the prosecution immediately announced it would retry the case, and U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwab set a new trial date of May 27.

That would be a travesty, not to mention a waste of public dollars. U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan put forth the best case her office could muster and, in the end, could not secure a conviction. The prosecutor should let it go. There's no point in yet another trial -- especially considering that Dr. Wecht was unsuccessfully tried by the county on similar criminal charges a generation ago.

We say this as no great fans of Cyril Wecht. While we respect him as a renowned forensic pathologist, we are well acquainted with his temper and his penchant for firing off angry letters at his critics. It has also been a long time since we have supported him politically.

When his defense argued early on that this was a political prosecution -- he being a prominent and high-achieving Democrat and Ms. Buchanan being a rising star in the Bush Justice Department -- the Post-Gazette editorial board didn't want to hear it. We said let the facts play out in court -- and they just have.

A second trial for a 77-year-old man who is not a threat to public health or safety will only raise fresh -- and this time more substantive -- charges of a political agenda at work. It will be seen as a persecution, not a prosecution, and that will tarnish the integrity of the U.S. attorney's office, regardless of who is in charge.

There are real crimes out there for the feds to bring to trial -- drug rings, mobsters, terrorists. The case against Cyril Wecht is over. It's time to file it away.

First published on April 9, 2008 at 12:00 am

00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

Some jurors skeptical of case against Wecht

Judge schedules new trial to begin May 27

Thursday, April 10, 2008

By Jonathan D. Silver, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Some jurors pressing to acquit Dr. Cyril H. Wecht said yesterday that they had trouble buying a central part of the government's argument: that the former Allegheny County coroner schemed to defraud the county and his private clients.

The jury announced Tuesday it was deadlocked and U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab declared a mistrial. A new trial was set for May 27.

"In my opinion, the plan, the scheme was the problem for me personally," said the jury foreman, who requested anonymity in light of the judge's request that jurors not yet speak publicly.

Federal prosecutors charged Dr. Wecht with 41 offenses covering wire fraud, mail fraud and theft from an organization receiving federal funds. They alleged that the forensic pathologist improperly abused county resources in various ways to enrich himself, bilked private clients, and did so with intent.

"His main scheme was to defraud and, my goodness, I didn't see that anywhere. I kept looking for this big criminal scheme. I couldn't find it. It never surfaced for me, as far as I'm concerned," said the Rev. Stanley F. Albright, a prison chaplain who was dismissed for medical reasons during the seventh day of deliberations.

"If we all could have reached agreement on that then we would have had no problem deciding the other charges," said Rev. Albright, 71, of Monroeville.

The government had to prove Dr. Wecht's intent to defraud in order to secure a guilty verdict.

But there were other stumbling blocks. For some jurors, it was testimony from several of Dr. Wecht's private clients who said they were not bothered by his alleged fraudulent invoices.

Prosecutors said Dr. Wecht schemed to overcharge clients for airfare on his consulting trips. They also accused him of sending fake invoices for limousine rides to and from Pittsburgh International Airport when in reality he drove there in a county car accompanied by a coroner's office employee.

"Do you know how many clients Cyril Wecht had? They couldn't find one to come into that courthouse and get on the stand and say, 'Yeah, he defrauded me, I want my money back?'" Rev. Albright said.

The foreman took those concerns one step further, echoing a contention raised by the defense that no problems cropped up with Dr. Wecht's invoices until the FBI began its investigation.

"I guess what bothered me was the FBI went and informed his private clients, 'Look what Dr. Wecht is doing to you,'" the foreman said. "I can understand if they didn't know that ahead of time, OK, fine. But once they were notified, not one of them came forward and said, 'You know something, the government is right, Dr. Wecht cheated me, he robbed me, I would like to file charges, I want my money back, I want something done.'"

Also working against the government was its decision not to call certain witnesses, particularly George Hollis, the former chief histologist at the coroner's office, and Joseph Mancuso, Dr. Wecht's autopsy technician for his private practice.

Prosecutors alleged that one facet of Dr. Wecht's scheme was to have Mr. Hollis prepare tissue slides for his private cases. The bulk of that work was done at the coroner's office on county time, resulting in a backlog of county casework, the government said.

In January 2007, Mr. Hollis pleaded guilty to three federal charges and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors on the Wecht case. During the trial, there was testimony that Mr. Hollis eventually worked almost exclusively on Dr. Wecht's private cases at the county office and then lied about it to a supervisor.

During his closing argument, lead defense attorney Jerry McDevitt referred to the series of "Where's Waldo" children's books, mockingly asking "Where's Hollis?"

"These are the main players. If they would have had something to say, the government would have given them immunity and they would have been here," the foreman said.

Eileen Young, one of Dr. Wecht's former administrative assistants at the coroner's office, did testify under immunity during a grueling seven days on the stand. She was the prosecution's star witness since she essentially ran Dr. Wecht's private business, from bookkeeping to client intake to billing.

"The woman did the best she could under the circumstances, I think," Rev. Albright said. "At one point I kind of looked at the [prosecutor] like you're really badgering this woman."

Rev. Albright also said he was turned off by testimony from another Wecht secretary, Kathleen McCabe, about how FBI Agent Bradley Orsini came to her house one Palm Sunday and told her that Martha Stewart went to prison because she lied.

Defense attorneys stressed that public officials knew full well when Dr. Wecht was elected coroner that he also had a thriving private business, one that put Pittsburgh's name on the map thanks to his many media appearances on high-profile cases.

"If he was using the county car for his own business, maybe they should have asked them to reimburse them," Rev. Albright said. "How's he going to run his business, which they knew he was doing, and not be in that office? It just seemed to me that he ran his business from his office, and it overflowed into the county office and he made some enemies."

Neither Rev. Albright nor the foreman would reveal how jurors were split on the counts. However, they both expressed surprise at the swift decision to retry Dr. Wecht.

"I don't really think they had any alternative than to do that. Otherwise if they didn't do that, that might indicate they didn't even have faith in what they did," Rev. Albright said. "They cost federal taxpayers a lot of money."

The jury foreman said it would have been prudent for prosecutors to try to determine which way the jury was leaning on each count before announcing its decision. He wondered if prosecutors had any additional evidence.

"If there was other stuff then they should have presented it at the first trial," he said.

Both said the jury, split evenly between men and women at the beginning, was diligent and considered each count, trying to find evidence to back up the government's allegations. Jurors took several polls by raising hands or by written ballot.

At one point before Rev. Albright was dismissed, jurors had agreed on three counts. Over the next several days of deliberations, however, people were willing to re-evaluate their positions.

Defense attorneys have claimed that politics is at the heart of Republican U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan's prosecution of Dr. Wecht, a Democrat.

The jury foreman said he went into the trial with an open mind.

"But as the case went on my thoughts were this was being politically driven," he said.

Jonathan D. Silver can be reached at jsilver@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1962.

First published on April 10, 2008 at 12:52 am

************************************************************

Yes, Peter. I read that article from one of the urls you posted above.

I still believe that list needs to be lengthened and submitted ASAP, if for nothing more than to take a stand of our own against the hypocrisy being allowed to run rampant through our In-Justice Department.

Please add my name and credentials when the glitch is repaired.

Thanks again,

Ter

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I thought there was already a thread concerning the trial of Dr. Wecht.

Why diversify the interest and support to a new topic and thread when there is already one going?

BK

Sorry.

Yo! Bill, I didn't mean to cut you off, but there are a few threads on a few topics that I try to keep track of, keep up to date and save for the record, and that is one thead that I think's important. So starting another thread sort of disrupts the flow of the record. Then again maybe it won't all amout to pile of beans.

BK

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So Dawn do you suggest that Dr. Wecht's lawyers should represent him at the new trial without interviewing the witnesses who voted against him to attempt to evaluate the weaknesses of their case? I suggest to do so would represent legal malpractice. By the same token the prosecutors ought to interview the jurors who voted to acquit so they can assess the strengths and weaknesses of their case. I would think this would be SOP in a case like this provided the judge permits such interviews.

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BK wrote:

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.

I would like to see empirical rather than merely anecdotal evidence to support Bill's point. I spent about twenty minutes on the Internet and found no data on this point. I think a good argument can be made that prosecutors can do better at a retrial since they then know the defendant's case (which the defendant is not obligated to disclose at the first trial; the state is entitled to very limited discovery in a criminal case).

Edited by Tim Gratz
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So Dawn do you suggest that Dr. Wecht's lawyers should represent him at the new trial without interviewing the witnesses who voted against him to attempt to evaluate the weaknesses of their case? I suggest to do so would represent legal malpractice. By the same token the prosecutors ought to interview the jurors who voted to acquit so they can assess the strengths and weaknesses of their case. I would think this would be SOP in a case like this provided the judge permits such interviews.

I assume you mean interview the jurors? Absolutely interview them, to find out what they thought was both weak and strong about the state's case. It is SOP. I cannot speak for what the law in PA is but in TX. after the trial is over the judge cannot prevent those who wish to speak from doing so. Some have done so here, so I am assuming the law is the same in PA.

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William Kelly Posted Today, 12:09 AM

QUOTE(Bill Byas @ Apr 13 2008, 03:39 AM)

QUOTE(William Kelly @ Apr 12 2008, 09:12 PM)

QUOTE(Bill Byas @ Apr 13 2008, 01:22 AM)

http://www.maryferrell.org/wiki/index.php/...Dr._Cyril_Wecht

I thought there was already a thread concerning the trial of Dr. Wecht.

Why diversify the interest and support to a new topic and thread when there is already one going?

BK

Sorry.

Yo! Bill, I didn't mean to cut you off, but there are a few threads on a few topics that I try to keep track of, keep up to date and save for the record, and that is one thead that I think's important. So starting another thread sort of disrupts the flow of the record. Then again maybe it won't all amout to pile of beans.

BK

The Wecht threads have now been merged.

Antti

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Dawn wrote:

I assume you mean interview the jurors? Absolutely interview them, to find out what they thought was both weak and strong about the state's case. It is SOP. I cannot speak for what the law in PA is but in TX. after the trial is over the judge cannot prevent those who wish to speak from doing so. Some have done so here, so I am assuming the law is the same in PA.

And of course that was my point about the FBI interviews of the former jurors. I assume the FBI was acting on behalf of the U.S. attorney. Does anyone know exactly what the FBI was asking the jurors?

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Dawn wrote:

I assume you mean interview the jurors? Absolutely interview them, to find out what they thought was both weak and strong about the state's case. It is SOP. I cannot speak for what the law in PA is but in TX. after the trial is over the judge cannot prevent those who wish to speak from doing so. Some have done so here, so I am assuming the law is the same in PA.

And of course that was my point about the FBI interviews of the former jurors. I assume the FBI was acting on behalf of the U.S. attorney. Does anyone know exactly what the FBI was asking the jurors?

You're joking right?

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Majority of jurors thought Wecht innocent:

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburgh...l/s_561365.html

Open Letter calls for end to Wecht case:

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburgh...l/s_562807.html

Source of Wecht Jury names sought:

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburgh...l/s_562381.html

The last one is the most troubling - but then when has the FBI ever cared about following the Law?! I have a feeling the second persecution may not happen - but ask everyone 'within the sound of my voice' to not let up on the papers, Prosecutor, Conyers' Office and anyone else you can think of!

Based on what appears to be a clear violation of the Judge's order by the prosecution, I can see why Mary Beth Buchanan doesn't want to try her case in the media.

The notion that the order wouldn't apply to the FBI is rather comical, but the FBI's contacting jurors who were apparently hung in favor of acquittal is not.

Out of control prosecutors are a tremendous problem and can ruin peoples' lives.

This one got her head handed to her in a 2 week trial, but insists that she will get a better result next time.

We need to send each of these jurors those attractive welcome/front door mats which say "Come Back with a Warrant".

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  • 3 weeks later...
My theory is this is political payback. Remember one of the Senators in PA is none other than Arlen Spector and doesn't exactly see bullet to bullet with Wecht on some things....if you catch my drift. Others also don't like Wecht's work on JFK and other high-profile cases. This Administration is just a Mafia of corruption, illegality, immorality, hate, war, greed, avarice, unConstitutionality and insanity.....

And let's not forget that President George W. Bush, otherwise known as Bush 43, is the the son of President George H. W. Bush, otherwise known as Bush 41. George H. W. Bush was up to his eyeballs in the JFK assassination, especially with his ties to George DeMohrenschildt.

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