Former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens is shown arriving at federal court in Washington on April 7, 2009. (Gerald Herbert / AP Photo / March 19, 2012)
Ted Stevens and the department of injustice
An inquiry tells the story of government lawyers who failed to live up to their professional responsibilities and thus failed to give the former Alaska senator a fair trial.
By Michael Carey
March 19, 2012
As his trial on corruption charges approached in the fall of 2008, Ted Stevens railed to me in an email: “What did I do, Michael? What did I do?” The wounded rage smoldering in that rhetorical question to a reporter reflected his belief that he had done nothing wrong. He continued to insist on his innocence after a Washington, D.C., jury found him guilty of lying on financial disclosure forms.
Stevens’ conviction was dismissed in 2009 after the Justice Department’s admission that government lawyers failed to turn over evidence the Stevens defense should have received. U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan, who presided over Stevens’ trial, soon authorized an investigation of the prosecutors’ conduct, a move as rare as the trial of a U.S. senator.