Saturday, July 28, 2007

Judge awards $101 million to men wrongly imprisoned for 35 years

A federal judge has ordered the U.S. government to pay $101 million to four men who were wrongly imprisoned for more than thirty years on murder convictions when the FBI withheld exculpatory evidence. Two of the four men died in prison. The Department of Justice argued that the federal government had no obligation to share information with state prosecutors even though they knew that the testimony identifying the men as the killers was false.

The judge declared that the DoJ's position was "absurd" and "The FBI's misconduct was clearly the sole cause of this conviction."

The FBI gave bonuses and commendations to its agents who were responsible for these erroneous convictions for the murder of Edward "Teddy" Deegan.

(Via The Agitator, who rightly asks why the FBI agents responsible for this travesty of justice are not themselves in jail.)

UPDATE (July 31, 2007): The Agitator reports on FBI Assistant Director Wayne Murphy's testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on the use and abuse of confidential drug informants, in which Murphy argues that the FBI should not be required to disclose evidence about wrongdoing by confidential informants to state prosecutors in order to prevent murders or to prevent people from being wrongly imprisoned for crimes they did not commit. Apparently the FBI considers the war on drugs so important that it is better to allow people to be murdered or people to be wrongly imprisoned than to jeopardize a drug investigation.

1 comment:

Leo said...

...and still we pay for J. Edgar Hoovers excesses...