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Peter Lemkin
11-02-2008, 06:49 AM
I just don't see how it is fair to re-try Wecht after a mistrial, and more so that in the Watada case, the Courts ruled it would be double jeopardy to do so. http://www.talkleft.com/story/2008/10/22/0513/0219 Seems to me our legal system is hanging by a thread and most judges are as clueless to what justice really entails as are the would-be masters of planet who appoint them, pack the courts with 'em and appoint the (maddog politically-motivated) prosecutors to go 'get them'. Retrial info on Wecht here http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08250/909966-85.stm and latest here (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08306/924572-85.stm) with the full 44 page decision here. (http://www.post-gazette.com/downloads/200809053rd_Circuit_ruling.pdf?cmpid=relatedarticl e) There never should have been a first trial against Wecht and a re-trial is in the cruel and unusual punishment range.....squared.

Justice? Not!

David Guyatt
11-02-2008, 09:53 AM
Pete, There appears to be a head of steam building in the US, UK and elsewhere about abolishing the 800 year old law of Double Jeopardy.

One cannot wonder whether this is being coordinated internationally, but it appears to be a move designed to weaken the Jury system of trial, which is most certainly not a good move.

Australia as of August 2007:

http://www.ministers.sa.gov.au/news.php?id=1988&print=1

Ireland, July 2008:

http://wearechangeireland.org/the-end-of-double-jeopardy/

UK, April 2001:

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2001/apr2001/jeop-a13.shtml

Peter Lemkin
11-02-2008, 10:09 AM
Pete, There appears to be a head of steam building in the US, UK and elsewhere about abolishing the 800 year old law of Double Jeopardy.

One cannot wonder whether this is being coordinated internationally, but it appears to be a move designed to weaken the Jury system of trial, which is most certainly not a good move.

Australia as of August 2007:

http://www.ministers.sa.gov.au/news.php?id=1988&print=1

Ireland, July 2008:

http://wearechangeireland.org/the-end-of-double-jeopardy/

UK, April 2001:

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2001/apr2001/jeop-a13.shtml

We are inching toward a Nazi-style 'justice' system, where if you are prosecuted you ARE ipso facto GUILTY, and will be found to be so.....no matter how many trials (or dirty tricks) it takes, until they do away with trials [hey, sounds like what the Bushaviks do in Gitmo and with their enemy combattants and suspected terrorists]. Is it only me, or does there seem to be a general unraveling of what very modest level of civilization and enlightenment we had. Quite sad that the English-speaking world seems to leading the latest charge to Dante's lowest level of 'Hell'.

David Guyatt
11-02-2008, 12:26 PM
Yup, looks like civilization is being put in hard reverse.

Dawn Meredith
11-02-2008, 01:01 PM
I just don't see how it is fair to re-try Wecht after a mistrial, and more so that in the Watada case, the Courts ruled it would be double jeopardy to do so. http://www.talkleft.com/story/2008/10/22/0513/0219 Seems to me our legal system is hanging by a thread and most judges are as clueless to what justice really entails as are the would-be masters of planet who appoint them, pack the courts with 'em and appoint the (maddog politically-motivated) prosecutors to go 'get them'. Retrial info on Wecht here http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08250/909966-85.stm and latest here (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08306/924572-85.stm) with the full 44 page decision here. (http://www.post-gazette.com/downloads/200809053rd_Circuit_ruling.pdf?cmpid=relatedarticl e) There never should have been a first trial against Wecht and a re-trial is in the cruel and unusual punishment range.....squared.

Justice? Not!

This is payback pure and simple. Keep in mind that they confiscated all his JFK files. And the media blackout on this outrageous prosecution is beyond despicable.
I had not heard about efforts to end double jeopardy.
Let's bring back burning at the stake too.
Seriously, this is beyond the absurd. The courts are already very clogged with too many jury trials. I have one 1/5 and was told Wednesday by the DA that I am number 35, so it will likely be re-set. I can't imagine the extra clogging if DJ is abolished. DA's will love it but the rest of us, including judges will revolt.
Dawn

Charles Drago
11-02-2008, 01:08 PM
Yup, looks like civilization is being put in hard reverse.

Which is as fine (and succinct) a description of the bastards' spiritual agenda as any I've read.

Dawn Meredith
11-02-2008, 06:37 PM
This is just so sad. And maddening. I heard his conference was wonderful! Amazing in the midst of this malicious persecution.
Perhaps a new judge will be less prosecution oriented. He also needs to testify this time, unless they reach a settlement.
Dawn

New judge selected for Wecht retrial

Saturday, November 01, 2008

By Paula Reed Ward, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The case of former Allegheny County Coroner Dr. Cyril H. Wecht has been assigned to a new judge.



Whether it will go to trial before U.S. District Judge Sean J. McLaughlin, however, continues to remain a mystery.



Defense attorneys and federal prosecutors entered settlement negotiations in May. But it appeared earlier this week that the talks had stalled when the mediator handling them said he had faced a lack of cooperation.



But yesterday afternoon, the talks were back on, moving forward without former federal circuit Judge Timothy K. Lewis overseeing the discussions.



Dr. Wecht's first trial on 41 criminal counts before U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab ended in a hung jury in April.



In September, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied a motion by Dr. Wecht to have the case against him dismissed but ordered that a new judge be appointed, saying that the process might benefit from having less rancor in the courtroom.



Since Dr. Wecht was indicted in January 2006, the case has been wrought with sarcasm, hostility and snide remarks from all sides.



Judge McLaughlin, who is based in Erie, has served on the federal bench since 1994. He has a reputation for being fair and even-handed and will hear the case in Pittsburgh.



"I would guess that you'd be hard-pressed to find anybody who wouldn't look forward to the opportunity to practice before him," said Terry Jones, a civil litigator who has practiced with and before Judge McLaughlin. "You know you're going to get a fair shake no matter what side you're on."



In the Wecht case, defense attorneys asked the appeals court to remove Judge Schwab twice in the past, claiming an appearance of bias, but the appeals court refused.



In the most recent appeal, the defense did not seek such a remedy, instead arguing that their client could not be retried based on double jeopardy.



Though the appeals court refused to throw out the case, the three-judge panel chose to remove Judge Schwab on its own.



In the meantime, Dr. Wecht's attorneys and the government had been working with Judge Lewis in an attempt to reach a civil settlement in the case -- something very rare in the world of criminal justice.



However, this week, Judge Lewis said those negotiations had broken down.



"In this matter, one side did not exhibit the interest, desire or willingness to participate in as meaningful a way as the other," he said.



Yesterday, Defense Attorney Jerry Mcdevitt said it appeared talks had stalled since U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan had not responded to e-mails or phone calls to schedule a negotiation since early October.



"We never heard from her again, nor did that office respond to Judge Lewis last week, when he tried to establish a time for further discussions," he said.



However, after the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette called seeking comment from Ms. Buchanan on Mr. McDevitt's allegations, both attorneys joined in a conference call, saying there had been a miscommunication because of demanding schedules.



"The discussions we are having continue to be ongoing," Ms. Buchanan said. "We prefer to deal directly with each other and not a third party."



Frustrated by the nearly 3-year old case, Mr. McDevitt has continually chastised the government for continuing with the prosecution.



"In the last month, we have seen the collapse of the national economy, with taxpayers having to foot the bill for over a trillion dollars amidst widespread allegations that such a financial disaster could not occur without widespread criminal fraud. The Justice Department and FBI stated in the New York Times that it lacks sufficient manpower to investigate and prosecute those responsible, yet now want to dedicate substantial resources for a mulligan prosecution of nickel-and-dime charges against Dr. Wecht that nobody wanted reprosecuted even before this economic disaster," he said.



"More than ever, this case should be dropped before it causes further damage to all concerned."



The lead prosecutor on the Wecht case, Stephen S. Stallings, has since left the U.S. attorney's office for private practice. He has been replaced by the chief of the criminal division, Leo M. Dillon.



Paula Reed Ward can be reached at pward@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2620

First published on November 1, 2008 at 12:00 am




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Charles Drago
11-02-2008, 09:44 PM
Dawn,

Don your attorney's chapeau.

Is there advantage to be taken by Cyril if he were to utilize a forum such as this for -- shall we say -- public relations purposes?