Thursday, June 04, 2009

Why I don't trust feds as a general rule anymore

The Behenna case was marred by what appears to be prosecutorial misconduct when evidence from the prosecution's own forensics expert favorable to Behenna was ignored and withheld from the military tribunal until the trial was over.
And what might that evidence be?
"● As the case unfolded, and before the government rested its case-in-chief, Dr. MacDonell advised the prosecutors that it was possible that Mansur was standing with his arms raised and was first shot through the torso and secondly shot in the head as he fell. Dr. MacDonell demonstrated this scenario to the prosecutors using prosecution team personnel.
"● After 1LT Behenna testified, Dr. MacDonell again advised another government expert that the forensics of the entry wounds support Behenna’s testimony. The government did not disclose to the defense the fact that their own expert had concluded that Behenna’s version was not just possible but was the “only logical” explanation consistent with the forensic evidence, despite formal requests from Behenna’s counsel before and during the trial for Brady material – evidence potentially favorable to the accused as to guilt or sentencing.
"● The case then proceeded to closing argument without the benefit of Dr. MacDonell’s testimony. In fact, the government argued in closing that Behenna’s version of events was so implausible that the government did not need to call a rebuttal witness when, in fact, Dr. MacDonell was retained in part for the contingency of being such a rebuttal witness. Only after Dr. MacDonell pressed the issue with the prosecutors by sending them an email did the prosecutors disclose his opinion that: '[T]he only logical explanation for this shooting . . .[is] that Ali Mansur had to have been shot in his chest when he was standing. . . . [I]t fits the facts and I can not think of a more logical explanation. [W]hen I heard Lt. Michael Behenna testify . . . I could not believe how close it was to the scenario I had described to you on Wednesday.'
"● This email with its critical content was produced to Behenna’s defense team after the court members (what civilians call the “jury”) had already returned a guilty verdict. Therefore, the court members never learned of Dr. MacDonell’s exculpatory conclusions for their deliberations on guilt or sentencing.
"● The government opposed 1LT Behenna’s new trial, stating in its brief: 'Dr. MacDonell’s opinion that 1LT Behenna’s account was the only logical explanation of the shooting, albeit extremely unlikely or an amazing coincidence, would not have produced a substantially more favorable result for the Accused.'

This kind of bullcrap, like the misconduct that came out in the Ted Stevens trial, is why I just don't trust these people.

1 comment:

Windy Wilson said...

Throw in the problems Martha Stewart and Scooter Libbey had with the prosecutor's desire to punish them for their memories, add the fact that anything you say can be used against you but anything they say is inadmissible hearsay, and, like Captain Jack Sparrow, you realize "That's hardly an incentive to speak freely, now, is it?