Judge Emmet Sullivan said he had never seen “mishandling and misconduct” like that of the prosecutors in the U.S. v. Stevens case.Â The Barometer has no doubt that former Senator Ted Stevens (R. Alaska) crossed a few ethical lines in his relationships with some contractors and others.Â However, legal breach is different from ethical breach, and the former requires proof.Â In dismissing the conviction, Judge Sullivan appointed a special prosecutor to look into the conduct of the Justice Department prosecutors in theirÂ pursuit of a conviction.Â The good judge noted that the prosecutors did not disclose exculpatory evidence and that former U.S. Attorney General, Michael Mukasey, ignored letters from defense attorneys outlining the ongoing problems withÂ honest disclosures.
The Barometer encourages students, business people,Â and professionals to develop their own credos.Â A credo consists of things you would never do, lines you would never cross to gt a job, to keep a job, to meet your numbers for the quarter, or to win a case.Â The exercise is difficult for most.Â “Never?” they counter, “I can’t say ‘Never!'”Â Â Yet, it is possible to draw lines.
The Stevens case is a teaching moment for a credo:Â “I would never withhold evidence in order to get a conviction.”Â There’s a line not to be crossed, and a goodÂ component of a credo for any prosecutor.Â That’s a “never” anyone could live with,Â abide by, and build a reputation with.Â The Barometer offers apologies for ending a sentence with three prepositions, but there is no better way to make the point thatÂ never-ever lines are possible.Â Never-ever lines trump codes in offering clear guidance through the minefieldsÂ we find when the pressure hits.Â Better toÂ withdraw the case than withhold evidence.Â Better for the defendant, better for the cause of justice, and even better for the prosecutors’ careers.Â Ethical conduct usually does travel on the same side of the street as long-termÂ succes. Â