EDITORIAL: Report reveals big flaws in Stevens prosecution
The misconduct of the federal prosecutors who withheld justice from the late Sen. Ted Stevens is on full display in the 514-page report released March 15 by a federal court.
Had Stevens been given a fair trial, he never would have been convicted and he would not have lost the election in 2008.
But what is more important and never can be totally erased is the damage those Department of Justice attorneys have done to our system of justice.
It is important to learn from this miscarriage of justice and reduce the chances that what happened to Stevens will happen to others.
The Department of Justice has said it is reforming its processes so its lawyers do not deliberately withhold evidence that deserves to be shared with those who are accused.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, one of the few Alaska leaders who stood by Stevens in 2008, is pushing for new standards to clarify disclosure standards.
There is more work to be done, but let this attempt to improve our justice system be remembered as the last hard-won legislative accomplishment of Sen. Ted Stevens.
When he rose to speak in the U.S. Senate for the final time three-and-a-half years ago, Stevens repeated that he had tried every day to live up to his motto: “To hell with the politics, just do what’s right for Alaska.”
As he was wrapping up his farewell address, Stevens said he never was one to look into a rearview mirror.
“I look only forward, and I still see the day when I can remove the cloud that currently surrounds me,” Stevens said.
That day has arrived. The sunlight emanating from the investigator’s report has burned away the cloud.