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March 30, 2006

The Convertino case

Covertino.jpgClear Thinkers favorite Peter Henning provides this cogent analysis of the important case of Richard Convertino, the former Assistant U.S. Attorney who was indicted yesterday on conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and perjury charges for his part as lead counsel in the extraordinary "Detroit Terrorism Trial," the case in which two defendants were convicted on terrorism charges only to have the prosecution request that the verdicts be thrown out because of prosecutorial misconduct. A copy of the indictment is here, the WaPo article on the indictment is here and the NY Times article is here.

As Professor Henning reports, this may be the first indictment based on a prosecutor's alleged failure to comply with the government's Brady obligation and the prosecution's duty to turnover to the defense potentially exculpatory evidence that the prosecution obtained in the course of its investigation. Given the Enron Task Force's use of similarly questionable tactics in connection with various Enron-related prosecutions -- including this recent alleged failure to comply with the Task Force's Brady obligation in the Lay-Skilling case -- you can bet that the defense attorneys involved in the Enron-related criminal cases will be following the Convertino case closely.

11/01/07 Update: Convertino was acquitted.

Posted by Tom at March 30, 2006 7:06 AM |

Comments

TK,

this writer is going to take credit where credit is due--its Brady/Kyles that is the issue in federal and state criminal prosecutions

having said that, the significant part of the Convertino indictment is not Brady/Kyles; it is the indictment of an AUSA for giving a defendant a break on a plea bargain--follow the link and read the last count of the indictment. And, if the gov't attorney committed a crime, weren't defense counsel and his client co-conspirators?

Posted by: Moe Levine at March 30, 2006 10:15 AM

Moe, I noticed that, too and it certainly seems like a strange count to include in the indictment, given that it appears to relate to an entirely different matter. That certainly sounds like a transcript of a sentencing hearing that would be worth reading!

Posted by: Tom K at March 30, 2006 10:29 AM

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