Monday Morning Poll: Worst Prosecutor of the Year

Monday, December 31st, 2007

Before you vote, be sure to read up on the candidates below. A couple of caveats: Since this is the first year of what I’m sure will (unfortunately) be an annual award with many deserving candidates, some of the transgressions committed by this year’snominees extend back to before 2007. I’m also taking two candidates out of consideration. The first is Alberto Gonzalez, mostly because he’d be the overwhelming winner if I included him. The other is Mike Nifong, who while certainly deserving, has at least been held accountable for his transgressions. The prosecutors below have not.

The nominees are…

  • Mary Beth Buchanan, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

    The politically ambitious Buchanan is nothing if not savvy. After then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez announced that prosecuting pornography would be a “top priority” of his Justice Department, Buchanan waged the first federal obscenity prosecutions in 20 years, including against porn distributor Extreme Associates. A fine use of taxpayer dollars.

    Buchanan is probably best known for “Operation Pipe Dreams,” in which she spent $12 million to nab 55 people for selling bongs over the Internet. Her biggest catch was Tommy Chong, he of the Cheech & Chong movies. Though Chong was the only person caught in the sting without a prior criminal record, he received the longest sentence (nine months). Buchanan’s office made no bones about throwing the book at Chong because of his movie career, in which he satirized and promoted the use of marijuana.Buchanan’s has also been accused of too zealously pursuing charges against prominent Democrats and Democratic sympathizers (while declining such investigations of Republicans).

    No less than Richard Thornburgh–former attorney general in both the Reagan and Bush 41 administration–has called for Buchanan’s resignation. Thornburgh is currently representing noted forensic pathologist Cyrill Wecht, whom Buchanan is prosecuting for what appear to be very minor abuse of state office equipment and staff for personal use. Thornburgh says Buchanan went after Wecht (an outspoken Democrat) at the behest of higher-ups in the Justice Department as part of DOJ’s plan to use U.S. Attorneys to help elect Republicans to office.

    But I’d argue Buchanan’s biggest blunder was her relentless pursuit of Dr. Bernard Rottschaefer. Buchanan lined up five witnesses, all female, who alleged Rottschaefer wrote them prescriptions for OxyContin, anti-anxiety medications, and other drugs outside of normal medical practice, sometimes in exchange for sex. Since Rottschaefer’s conviction, strong evidence has emerged that all five witnesses perjured themselves on the stand.

    Buchanan’s star witness, Jennifer Riggle, admitted in multiple letters to her boyfriend that she made up her stories of drugs for sex to win favor from Buchanan’s office, hoping that they’d grant her leniency on her own drug charges. Buchanan not only refused to bring perjury charges against Riggle, she refused to reconsider her case against Rottschaefer in light of Riggle’s letters. Riggle, incidentally, has since had other run-ins with the law, and is now on the run. The other four women who testified against Rottschaefer later revealed in civil lawsuits that other doctors were treating them with the same types of drugs for the same ailments diagnosed and treated by Dr. Rottschaefer. The government’s expert medical witness at Rottschaefer’s trial didn’t know some basic facts about pain treatment, and failed to review the five women’s entire patient histories. Other experts have since reviewed Rottschaefer’s treatment, and found it to be well within accepted medical practice.

    Buchanan went after Rottschaefer at at time when OxyContin horror stories were all over the news, and Congress and DOJ were demanding a crackdown. No way she could admit a mistake, and let this prosecution go.Dr. Rottschaefer is currently serving a five-year sentence in federal prison. He’ll remain prison while he appeals.

    Buchanan has been promoted twice since taking office.

  • Forrest Allgood, Mississippi District Attorney for Clay, Lowndes, Noxubee, and Oktibbeha Counties.

    Allgood’s a long-serving DA who my sources say is about as good ol’ boy as good ol’ boy gets. He was most recently the prosecutor in the Tyler Edmonds case, where he solicited the infamous “two hands on the gun” testimony from Dr. Steven Hayne, testimony so outrageous it earned a first-ever (but long overdue) rebuke of Dr. Hayne from the Mississippi Supreme Court. Allgood may also be the first prosecutor (at least that I know of) to send two people to death row who were later acquitted.

    The first is Sabrina Butler, an 18-year-old mentally retarded woman Allgood convicted of killing her infant son in 1990. After spending five years on death row, Butler was retried in 1995, after the state supreme court ruled that Allgood was wrong to tell the jury they could take Butler’s refusal to take the stand in her own defense as a sign of her guilt. In the retrial, the medical examiner (not, to my knowledge, Dr. Hayne, though I’ve been told Dr. Hayne did participate in Butler’s prosecution behind the scenes) admitted to making some key mistakes, and outside experts determined that Butler’s child likely died of SIDS or kidney disease. Butler was acquitted, and released from prison.

    The other case is the still-pending case of Kennedy Brewer. Brewer was convicted of raping and killing a little girl based largely on the testimony of Dr. Michael West, a quack bite-mark “expert” that Allgood still insists on using, despite the fact that West’s charlatanism has been exposed in several national media outlets, and that he has been suspended from or rebuked by several professional organizations. West testified at trial that he found bite marks on the little girl that he could positively trace back to Kennedy Brewer. Another, more qualified expert testified that the marks were actually bug bites the little girl’s body sustained after being dumped outside. Brewer was convicted and sentenced to death. Allgood then moved to have the evidence in the case destroyed. Brewer’s lawyer objected, and managed to have it preserved.

    About a decade later, more advanced DNA testing determined that there was semen from two men inside the little girl—but neither of them was Kennedy Brewer. The state supreme court ordered a new trial, and Brewer was released not only from death row, but also from prison on bond.Allgood then rather shockingly announced he would try Brewer for murder again. Peter Neufeld, director of the Innocence Project, says it’s the first time he can ever remember a prosecutor retrying someone for murder after testing showed DNA from other men at the crime scene, but not from the accused.

    Allgood then again shocked those close to the case when said he planned to again call the disgraced Dr. West to testify against Brewer. Of course, he pretty much had to if he was going to try the case again. West was just about all he had against Brewer.

    But it doesn’t stop there. When defense attorneys asked that the DNA found in the little girl be tested against a man already in prison for a similar rape and murder in the area, Allgood inexplicably tried to prevent that test from happening (my sources in Mississippi tell me it’s because Allgood prosecuted the other guy, too, and there’s a good chance he’s also innocent). Allgood then told the New York Times he didn’t check the DNA found in the little girl against the state’s DNA database because the state doesn’t have such a database. This came as a surprise to the man who’s been running said database for the last several years.

    Finally, if I may quote myself, here’s a passage from my article on Dr. Hayne with some juicy stuff on Allgood:

    Lloyd White served as state medical examiner from 1989 to 1993, under Democratic Gov. Ray Mabus. He is now a state medical examiner in Tarrant County, Texas. (He performed the autopsy on the slain Tejano pop star Selena.) Among other changes, White tried to require minimal competence tests and continuing training for Mississippi’s county coroners. Most of his suggestions are officially still part of the state’s regulations, but they’re ignored.

    White was especially concerned about the cozy relationships between coroners, district attorneys, and private medical examiners like Hayne, relationships that the ad hoc autopsy system seemed to encourage. “There’s a tendency to slant things to favor the people you’re working for,” White says. “The politics and power could sometimes run roughshod over people’s civil rights.”

    […]

    White left his position in 1992 with the election of a new governor. But he went out with a bang. Before leaving, he wrote a blistering public letter to Charles Tisdale, editor and publisher of the Jackson Advocate, a hard-hitting black paper sometimes called “the most firebombed newspaper in America.” Tisdale’s paper had been doggedly pursuing a series of suspicious suicides in Mississippi’s jails that many civil rights leaders believed to be homicides.

    White himself suspected the deaths really were suicides. But he didn’t believe they were being properly investigated. In particular, he was troubled that the bodies were being sent to examiners like Hayne, who, experience taught him, couldn’t be trusted to give an unbiased conclusion. White’s letter called Hayne out by name, noting that despite his lack of credentials and poor practices, “Hayne continues to autopsy jail and prison deaths, as well as persons killed by police or sheriff’s deputies, and to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal income as a result of his extremely cozy relations with…state employees and officials.”

    White also cited a case in which he had performed an autopsy on a woman who’d been found dead in her bathtub. White concluded it wasn’t immediately possible to determine a cause of death; he needed to wait for the results of toxicology and microscopic tests. According to White’s letter, he soon received a phone call from Hayne, who told him the body had been taken to Hayne’s office for a second examination at the request of Forrest Allgood, the district attorney for Clay, Lowndes, Noxubee, and Oktibbeha counties. Although White was the state medical examiner at the time, he said the second autopsy was performed “surreptitiously, without my knowledge or permission.” Allgood already had a suspect he wanted to charge with the crime, White said, and “he was afraid my autopsy wouldn’t provide him with the evidence he needed.” (Allgood’s office did not respond to requests for an interview.)

    According to White, Hayne told him he had concluded that the woman was strangled. White said Hayne then suggested it would be in White’s “best interest” to issue a report agreeing with him.

    Rather chilling to think about how many people this guy has wrongly put in prison. Allgood is still a district attorney in Mississippi, though the court kicked him off the Brewer case, and assigned a special prosecutor to take over (the new prosecutor still plans to retry Brewer, and still plans to ask Dr. West to testify). Dr. Hayne is still doing the overwhelming majority of autopsies in Mississippi. Though Dr. West has largely been discredited even in Mississippi, I’m told that Allgood is one of the few DA’s who still uses him.

  • Douglas County, Georgia District Attorney David McDade.

    McDade was the man who prosecuted Genarlow Wilson. Wilson was acquitted on one charge of rape, but convicted on a second charge of having consensual oral sex with a minor. He was 17, she was 15. Under Georgia law, the second charge earned Wilson a 10-year prison sentence. McDade’s first abuse of discretion was bringing the second charge in the first place. Had the sex been regular old vaginal sex, Wilson wouldn’t have committed any crime. After some early publicity, and apparently realizing the absurdity of that law, the Georgia legislature amended it. But they refused to make the law retroactive, and the debate over retroactivity was apparently driven by the Wilson case.

    Why would the Georgia legislature realize it passed an erroneous law, but fail to provide relief to the guy whose case generated the publicity that helped them realize the problems with the law in the first place? It now appears that DA McDade had a lot to do with it. McDade and his office distributed at least 35 copies of a videotape depicting the minor Wilson having sex at the party. As public outrage over Wilson’s sentence heated up, McDade went about protecting his conviction by giving the tape to lawmakers, journalists–anyone he could find, really, who wanted to see it. The act in the tape was actually the act for which Wilson acquitted. But no matter. McDade’s aim was to counter rising public sympathy for Wilson. And circulating a tape that confirmed white stereotypes about oversexed, morally bankrupt black teenagers did the trick. The legislature repaired the broken law, but made sure their amendment to it wouldn’t help Wilson.

    McDade pretty clearly breached Georgia’s ethics code for prosecutors, which prohibits outside-the-courtroom politicking to turn public opinion against a defendant. According to U.S. Attorney David Nahmias, McDade also likely violated federal laws against distributing child pornography, though Nahmias apparently decided against charging McDade (it’s too bad McDade didn’t show similar discretion when choosing to prosecute Wilson in the first place).

    McDade also had some suspicious conversations with the alleged victim in this case and her mother, including one in which McDade’s office surreptitiously recorded a conversation between the mother and a newspaper reporter.

    Wilson is free now, thanks to the Georgia State Supreme Court. But to my knowledge, McDade has yet to be held accountable for his behavior in the case.

  • Virginia Commonwealth’s Attorneys Paul Ebert and Robert Horan.

    Horan and Ebert each had an opportunity to launch an investigation into the massive corruption and civil rights violations taking place in Manassas Park, Virginia in the David Ruttenberg/Rack ‘n’ Roll Pool Hall case. Despite ample evidence uncovered by yours truly and Virginia politics blogger Greg Letiecq, as well as the findings of a Virginia State Police investigator also recommending a formal investigation, both declined.

    Ebert and Horan are both long-serving prosecutors, firmly entrenched in Virginia’s good ol’ boy network. Ebert’s been such an awful public servant, his recent reelection campaign (for which he faced no real opponent) inspired a write-in campaign for a ham sandwich. Horan gets bonus points for his refusal to find anything on which to indict Fairfax County police officer Deval Bullock, the man who somehow accidentally shot and killed unarmed, nonviolent gambling-on-football-games suspect Sal Culosi during a SWAT raid. Not that that decision should be terribly surprising. Horan hadn’t brought a single indictment against a police officer in 40 years on the job.

  • Horan retired in September. Ebert won reelection this year.

  • Scott Andringas, former Florida state’s attorney for Pinellas, Pasco, and Monroe counties.

    Andringas is the man who brought the case against Richard Paey. Andringas has acknowledged that Paey is a paraplegic, has multiple sclerosis, and was in chronic pain resulting from a car accident and botched back surgery. He also acknowledged that there was no evidence that Paey was selling or otherwise distributing prescription drugs. He was obtaining painkillers to treat his own pain. Nevertheless, Andringas forged ahead with drug distribution and prescription fraud charges against Paey, which carried a mandatory minimum 25-year sentence. Instead of arranging for Paey to turn himself in, Andringas sent a SWAT team for a middle-of-the-night raid on Paey, his wife, and their two children. Paey had no prior record, was wheelchair-bound, and of course posed no threat of violence.

    What’s worse, Andringas further acknowledged to NY Times columnist John Tierney that the 25-year sentence was harsh, but that “Paey was to blame” for refusing a plea bargain. In other words, Andringas allowed Paey to receive a sentence Andringas himself believes Paey didn’t deserve because Paey insisted on his constitutional right to a jury trial.

    Paey was sent to a high-security prison, where he was verbally and physically abused and subjected to sleep deprivation. After Paey told his story to Tierney, he was punished for talking to a journalist with a transfer to a maximum security prison across the state, hours from his family. When he arrived at the new facility, he was immediately put in solitary confinement.

    Paey was granted a full pardon in September of this year by Florida Gov. Charlie Crist. Crist and the two cabinet members who voted for the pardon called Paey’s case a gross miscarriage of justice. Andringas, now in private practice, had no comment on Paey’s pardon.

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    50 Responses to “Monday Morning Poll: Worst Prosecutor of the Year”

    1. #1 |  Kristen | 

      These are all egregious to me…un-fricken-believable, all of them. So, I voted Virginia, because that’s where I live.

    2. #2 |  asg | 

      Wow, it’s hard to make a choice. It’s like a sports award debate where the fans argue about which factors should get the greatest weight. In my book it’s gotta be Allgood. His decisions have had the greatest impact — sending people to death row — and he appears to take the most outrageous measures to conceal his incompetence and venality.

    3. #3 |  tfc | 

      What about the Ohio prosecutor of that off-duty firefighter who unrolled his hose at the request of a topless sunbather in a park?

      Egregious, I tells ya.

    4. #4 |  Andrew | 

      Has to be Mary Beth Buchanan, for the negative impact that she continues to have on society as a whole.

    5. #5 |  LibertyPlease | 

      Interesting that so many of these highly immoral abortions of justice are a result of moral crusading (drugs, pornography, oral sex)….

    6. #6 |  Marty | 

      it seems Catherine Hannaway, the overzealous St. Louis prosecutor going after internet gambling, deserves a mention with the rest of these nannies.

      sad stuff.

    7. #7 |  Ross | 

      I have to go with Allgood. They’re all evil thugs, but sending people to death row when they are innocent has to earn the top prize.

    8. #8 |  Mappo | 

      Oh come on. You couldn’t have added Patterico, just to make it interesting?

    9. #9 |  Nick T | 

      I went with Allgood, with Andringas 2nd. All of these people are horrible snakes, but those two seem to be the most egregious mixed in with blatant skirting or violations of the Constitution. That Allgood would apparently do absolutely anything to secure a conviction is what puts him all the way at the top though. Using junk science, going after a person whose been eliminated by DNA evidence!?

      The other’s – one could make a case – could maybe, possibly, believe that they are doing the right thing and are following the law (Buchanan is a politically motivated attention whore, but when you make your case with lowlifes and scum you may not reconsider everything when they change their story later on; McDade could really hate debaucherous teenage sex – more likely it’s black people that he hates – and think Wilson is a creep who did violate the law; and failing to launch an investigation, while awful in this case, almost puts one in a different ballpark – not that any of this makes what they did ok), but Allgood HAS to KNOW (not even all that deep down) that he is prosecuting an innocent man, just to not look bad.

      As for Andringas, he’s a shameless, overzealous prosecutor who doesn’t understand what his role or job actually is, just like so many of them, but he goes to number two because of his ridiculous, frightening, unconstitutional and downright depressing attitude towards plea bargains v. exercising one’s right to a trial.

    10. #10 |  Billy Beck | 

      Patrick Frey, no question about it. His stand on the Johnston case sealed it for me. I might vote for him again next year, too.

    11. #11 |  Russ 2000 | 

      Tough choice, but the tiebreaker was the fact that Buchanan is a US prosecutor rather than a state/local fascist.

    12. #12 |  Jason | 

      I would have to vote for Ms. Mary Beth Buchanan. One point not noted in the article was that Mary Beth Buchanan was promoted to Director of the Executive Office of US Attorneys. In this post, Mary Beth Buchanan was responsible for overseeing all US Attorneys for performance reviews and such. She held the post from 2004 to 2005. Yes, she has been linked to the Attorney General Scandal concerning the fired US Attorneys as part of this role. She also mentored Monica Goodling. If you don’t know who that is, please google her.

      The most disturbing issue about the Rottschaefer case are the Riggle letters. Within the letters, Riggle clearly writes repeatedly that the information in which to make the sex allegations was provided by the DEA Agent and US Attorney overseeing the Rottschaefer case. An investigation on this issue is long since overdue, yet do to the fact this issue occurred while Ms. Buchanan was in the directorship, no investigation happened. Surely not a conflict of interest at all.

      Additionally, the US Attorney stead fast refused to file perjury charges against the witness. In the press, the US Attorney said “when will you believe the witness in her letters to her boyfriend or in front of the court.” I think that such an answer is not Ms Buchanan’s to make and needs an investigation to root out what occurred. If not, this case and the various unseemly actions of the federal agents under Ms. Buchanan’s watch will happen again.

      So my vote is Ms. Mary Beth Buchanan.

    13. #13 |  André Kenji | 

      What about Nifong? ;-)

    14. #14 |  André Kenji | 

      Sorry, I didn´t read about Nifong. ;)

    15. #15 |  Jeff | 

      I just can’t can’t read all of the descriptions. I got through Mary’s and was already seething. I don’t know if these people are pretend do-gooders just trying to advance their careers, or real do-gooders thinking they are truly making things better. Either way they need to be stopped, but they won’t be. They will get promotion after promotion and convince the naive public that they are the answer to all of life’s problems, well if they are given more money and power anyway.

    16. #16 |  André Kenji | 

      McDade. Both for framing a innocent guy and for distributing child pornography.

    17. #17 |  severin | 

      My vote is for McDumbass, but I wish I could have had more than one vote.

    18. #18 |  MikeT | 

      The Mosaic Law has an interesting law that would prevent a lot of these cases:

      16 If a malicious witness takes the stand to accuse a man of a crime, 17 the two men involved in the dispute must stand in the presence of the LORD before the priests and the judges who are in office at the time. 18 The judges must make a thorough investigation, and if the witness proves to be a liar, giving false testimony against his brother, 19 then do to him as he intended to do to his brother. You must purge the evil from among you. 20 The rest of the people will hear of this and be afraid, and never again will such an evil thing be done among you.

      -Deuteronomy 19:16-20

      Any prosecutor that knowingly continues a case against an innocent person is to have done to them, without recourse for appeal, what they would have done to the innocent person.

    19. #19 |  MikeT | 

      Private parties also need to be able to bring criminal charges against government officials with their own prosecutors, instead of just relying on the system to fix itself.

    20. #20 |  Warren | 

      Went with Allgood, the others can be reversed but if Allgood is successful someone dies and that cannot be taken back.

    21. #21 |  diakron | 

      I also found it impossible to choose based on these slimeballs’ demerits, so like the first commenter here, I went with Mary Beth because she’s here in the state I call home.

      Ugh.

    22. #22 |  Jason | 

      Unfortunately, the actions of the others can not be reversed. Take Dr. Bernard Rottschaefer for example. Using the people’s resources, Mary Beth Buchanan hired a PR agent to send out press statements after indictments in what many say are clear examples of attempts to bias the juries. In the case of Dr. Rottschaefer, Mary Beth released statements to the press and even had the good doctor put into the DEA 2003 Scorecard of arrests prior to his day in court.

      Once the court sessions began, Mary Beth’s PR machine put out one sided heinous articles that were meant to hurt the doctor, his family, and his supporters.

      Now that everything has surfaced after trial, the damage is done. Dr. Rottschaefer will never be able to practice again. He will never be compensated for the waste of his life savings to fight against Mary Beth’s trumped up charges. He will never be able to walk free in the world without some sort of whisper (because accusations such as the ones that Ms. Buchanan through around are not easily forgotten by others…remember the Duke Players).

      As it stands now, the district court upheld the conviction of Dr. Rottschaefer even when presented with the overwhelming evidence that all five material patient witnesses lied and were enticed to lie under oath by Mary Beth Buchanan’s crack team of investigators. In the court’s words, it does not matter that the witnesses lied…enough said. Now the doctor has gone to the appeals court to remedy the situation.

      You would think Ms. Buchanan would be quick to remedy her error. Such is not the case, she has steadfast argued tooth and nail that the conviction should be held. She has changed legal theories as well as theories on the crime to attempt to hold this conviction. You may wonder if she has some sort of personal/professional fear about what would happen if the truth would come out.

      Anyway, the damage this individual has done can not be reversed or resolved.

    23. #23 |  Adam W. | 

      Ugh, f em all, but I voted Allgood, for the death row factor. I’d like to see ‘em all burn in hell though.

    24. #24 |  Warren | 

      I said reversed in the sense that if things worked as we are told they work, i.e. justice could be had then the doctor would be paid off and and Mary Beth would find herself in jail.

      I was aware that it is unlikely any of the innocents above would ever get any true measure of justice, but other than Allgood’s victims they were not set up to be the guest of honor at a human sacrifice party.

      In other words the doctor ain’t dead and there is a chance, however microscopic, he could be compensated for his ordeal.

    25. #25 |  Jason | 

      Warren,

      Thanks for clarifying your position. I see your point. I as you hope to see just carried out in all these cases. All in all, voting on this is kinda redundant since these prosecutors seem all to be crooked.

    26. #26 |  George | 

      I voted Allgood. He not only sent a man he must have at least suspected was innocent to death row, he did it more than once.

    27. #27 |  Chris Grieb | 

      Radley; I noted you said the prosecutor in Paey case is a former prosecutor. Did the Paey case have anything to do with his being in private life. How about making it something given every year and name the award for Mike Nifong and Jim Garrison of JFK fame.

    28. #28 |  Rob Davidson | 

      I had to go with Allgood (what a misnomer), too, for the same reason as Adam, Warren, and George. As egregious as all of these people are, demanding the death penalty for someone that you have to know is innocent is definitely the most obscene act of all.

    29. #29 |  Caligulas Palace | 

      These people are scum.

      I think they should all be taken out and shot.

    30. #30 |  David | 

      Allgood. He’s participating in the murders of innocent people in order to save face. That is monstrous.

    31. #31 |  TC | 

      Better than attempting to pick one. How can we the people reinstate the Justice system and hang all of these types of wipes that are all too prevalent across the nation?

      Maybe it’s time for citizen review boards that have REAL power over these scum. Attorney’s present or past would NOT be allowed. Members can serve only two years!

    32. #32 |  Bruce | 

      The law or stater and federal constitutions need to be changed to allow for private prosecution of government officials who commit malicious or wrongful prosecution or who violate the constitution (state or federal). In addition, there needs to be mandatory minimum sentences and concomitant civil liability. Also, governmental bodies themselves should be subject to prosecution, just as are private groups.

      Of course, we’ll never see this short of a revolution. The root problem is the people themselves. They tend to be false-righteous and self-righteous, and tend to identify with the prosecution and government. Sad but true.

      The next time there is a revolution, what will be needed in the new structure is provision for prosecution of government officials for their official actions, and for legislators for enacting and the executive for enforcing wrongful laws. There needs to be a separate “meta-government” with the limited jurisdiction of prosecuting government officials and elected politicians for their wrongful official actions. The should be no legislative nor sovereign immunity.

    33. #33 |  John Chase | 

      The word at the Pinellas County courthouse is that Andringa left the prosecution business probably because FL doesn’t pay much. No one knows for sure, but EVERYONE wants to believe he was advised to leave after he discredited the FL State Attorneys Office by the national publicity after he hounded Paey for 7 years and 3 trials to finally get him. I voted for Andringa.

    34. #34 |  John Chase | 

      It occurs to me that these prosecutors are not the worst. In fact, they are the best. They know to build their careers by enforcing the law to its limit. They have no incentive for fairness, justice, compassion or balance. The problem is the law that allows them to do that. So don’t look to any prosecutor for “justice”. The word has lost its meaning in our growing police state.

    35. #35 |  Jason | 

      John,

      I disagree with the notion that these prosecutors in these cases are not partaking in criminal actions. Take Mary Beth Buchanan, it is clear to anyone with half a brain that reads the letters from the prosecution witness that the DEA Agents planted the false testimony. Additionally, the fact Ms. Buchanan chose not to run a polygraph when the witnesses altered their testimonies to support the government’s case is telling.

      The issue in this case and in others is the issue that the fox is guarding the chicken coup. Obviously, Ms. Mary Beth Buchanan is not going to investigate the allegations against her and her staff. Obviously, she is not going to revoke this witness’ get out of jail for testimony deal. In doing so, the whole house of cards would fall.

      So in sum, calling these actions such as coercing false testimony, tampering with witnesses and evidence, and letting rampant perjury go unchallenged in a court of law legal is absurd. These prosecutors are criminals in suits.

    36. #36 |  Frank | 

      Isn’t the Duke University prosecutor in the running? Or is he now inelligible because he’s been disbared?

    37. #37 |  Frank | 

      “The law or stater and federal constitutions need to be changed to allow for private prosecution of government officials who commit malicious or wrongful prosecution or who violate the constitution (state or federal). In addition, there needs to be mandatory minimum sentences and concomitant civil liability. Also, governmental bodies themselves should be subject to prosecution, just as are private groups.”

      You would simply need a constitutional amendment revoking the common-law concept of sovereign immunity. In addition, make it so that any wrongful prosecution, once proven, means that everyone involved — law enforcement, prosecutors, false witnesses, judges, everyone, gets exactly the same punishment served by the innocent person.

      If the poor guy was in for 25 years before the miscarriage of justice was corrected, that’s what they get. If he was executed, line ‘em up on their knees in the prison courtyard and bill their families for the bullet. And the wear-and-tear on the gun. And make sure that no honors are rendered at their funerals. In fact, just burn the bodies and hand the urn to the innocent person they railroaded, no funeral, no honors. Let the families beg the person they wronged for their loved one’s remains.

      If it were me, I’d piss in the urn and post the video on YouTube.

      Never happen, of course. Not until Claire Wolfe time. But I can dream, can’t I?

    38. #38 |  Chris Grieb | 

      Radley took Nifong out of the running. Nifong is like the people who go into a hall of fame before the hall opens. It’s just a hall of shame. Does Paey’s prosecutor have a high paying job?

    39. #39 |  J sub D | 

      Allgood, hands down. He is trying to KILL people. If they are innocent, as appears to be the case with Kennedy Brewer, and he knows or suspects that is the case, then he is guilty of attempted murder. Damn, I’m glad I no longer live in Mississippi.

    40. #40 |  J sub D | 

      BTW Radley, I hope you have a space on your bookshelf picked out for a Pulitzer Prize, because you deserve one.

    41. #41 |  bill | 

      I recommend you all read the “Wecht Files” written by Charlie Dietrich of the Pittsburgh City Paper. Like Radley, Charlie also covered the Rottschaefer case in an article named “Bitter Pills.” The links are attached below.

      There are a lot of issues with the Wecht case.

      First, the allegations amount to what the defense attributes are less than ~$1,800 worth of errors in billings during a time when Wecht billed roughly ~$9,000,000 in revenue. In case you are wondering, the prosecution has yet to provide an estimate on the amount of errors in billings after over five years worth of investigating. Not sure, but wouldn’t this info be prudent before you file an indictment on these types of charges.

      Second, the prosecution appears to be clearly political in nature and is now falling apart. Mary Beth Buchanan had to drop half the charges because they can’t be substantiated.

      Third, the prosecution utilized a corrupt investigator to head the case up. When Wecht’s lawyers found out about the issues relating to the investigator being charged with tampering with witnesses and falsify evidence receipts, they requested that the information be made public. The prosecution of course attempted to hide this information from Wecht, the court, and the public. The investigator was moved to a desk job where he quote has no responsibilities at all.

      Lastly, Wecht appears to be targeted because he went against the local DA in Allegheny County in relation to a homicide. Wecht ruled that the actions of multiple police officers resulted in the death of an innocent person. Wecht requested that an investigation be open, instead DA Zappala refused to open any such investigation. When Wecht testified in support of the victim’s families in a civil suit, DA Zappala threatened Wecht that he would charge him with misusing his office for private gain. Many in Pittsburgh know that Zappala referred the case to Buchanan and now you have this huge waste of money. Millions have been spent on trying to go after someone for a less than .01% mistake in billings that no one has complained about. Wouldn’t these actions be considered misuse of government resources on part of the prosecution?

      Link to Wecht Files:
      http://www.pittsburghcitypaper.ws/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A39852

      Link to Bitter Pills:
      http://www.pittsburghcitypaper.ws/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A28537

    42. #42 |  bill | 

      Also can not believe that Rachel Paulose is not on this list. Look at her story online as the former US Attorney for Minnesota. She was BAD BAD BAD!!!!

    43. #43 |  Making The Walls Transparent(MTWT-Texas) | 

      Martin Niemoeller, a Dachau concentration camp survivor, wrote these haunting words after his release:

      “I didn’t speak up!
      In Germany, the Nazis? came? for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then, they came for me? and by that time there was no one left to speak for me.”

      It is the belief of many within society and the justice system that poor and working class black, brown and yellow people aren’t committed enough to make a difference.” Lets prove them wrong. Get involved, act today. If you are not doing something to change the system and the process, you have no right to complain. So, let’s get to work.

      “Let The Truth Be Told, Another Legal Lynching In Dallas, Texas”

      http://youtube.com/watch?v=sXe40XLPGjk&feature=related

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wYaOsCVRCI&feature=related

      http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/pt/slideshows/2008/01/010308_exonerated

      State of Texas v. Lakeith Amir-Sharif
      F0525061, F0559639, F0600180,MA0521971,MA0425257

      This letter is an update by MTWT-Texas Chapter, about the case of Lakeith Amir-Sharif (“Sharif“) who is currently awaiting trials April 21, 2008 on trumped up charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, to wit: a car, and stalking; the latter charge is 3 year old and has not been reset for trial as of this date due to the fact the indictment obtained by the racist and corrupt administration of former D.A. Bill Hill is unlawful and statutorily invalid because the requisites for charging Sharif with Stalking don‘t exist. Newly-elected District Attorney Craig Watkins has been made aware of all of these facts prior to and since his election, but nothing has been done to uphold the law and U.S. Constitution by ending this miscarriage of justice, and thus prevent another innocent man from being railroaded to prison like so many others have been done.

      These charges against Sharif lack a lawful or factual foundation because they’re based on lies, revenge, police, prosecution and judicial misconduct, yet with the complicity of various other court officials, local and state politicians (many of whom are defendants in federal civil right lawsuits filed by “Sharif” filed over the horrible conditions and treatment of prisoners while he was in the Dallas County jail during the past 16-months) the Dallas County DA’s Office, headed by Craig Watkins, the first African-American elected to this position, continues to pursue this malicious prosecution at a cost to taxpayers that now exceeds a quarter of a million dollars, and counting.

      It is becoming more and more obvious with each passing day that Sharif’s prosecution has nothing whatsoever to do with him supposedly having broken the law, but rather he is being persecuted for his constitutionally protected activities (i.e. his free speech found on numerous web sites & blogs, plus his federal civil right lawsuits that exposes and challenges the injustices within the Dallas County judiciary, the County Commissioners Office, the Dallas Sheriff’s Department, and the Dallas County Jail).

      Few, if any, Texas media outlets or elected leaders in Dallas County or the Texas State Legislatures in Austin, have not heard about the persecution of Sharif and the wasteful spending of taxpayers money, the unethical acts and abuses of power by the judges, police, and others involved in Sharif’s cases in order to carry out this travesty of justice, yet none of them have had the courage nor decency to take a principled stance in the name of truth and justice and demand answers and an end to this egregious injustice.

      To find some of the answers as to why there was a Fake Drug Scandal in Dallas, and why 15 recently exonerated citizens were railroaded to prison and why 400 plus others imprisoned citizens from Dallas County alone are claiming they were railroaded and that DNA testing will prove their innocence, you need to look no further than the case of Sharif and the many things we’ve pointed out to the world via MTWT’s website at:

      http://www.angelfire.com/crazy4/texas/

      http://www.angelfire.com/crazy4/texas/taxpayerquestions.html

    44. #44 |  Brian T. Ferguson | 

      Mary Beth Buchanan not only is a political tyrant but also a criminal of the highest caliber. While protecting George Bush and Dick Cheney in a coverup over 9/11 she also committed the serious crime of kidnapping and obstructed justice in the Abramoff scandal. Not only did she act in a persistent manner through six kidnappings she also knew the identity of those behind the Anthrax and failed to prosecute them. She in turn furhtered the coverup with FBI director Mueller an former heads of the CIA while being part of an illicit drug selling scheme for the CIA and tossing people in jail along the way and making even more money from it.

      This lady is dirty all the way and even went so far as to coverup non payment of income taxes for individuals such as H. Ross Perot.

      Insofar as to furhter coverups she even committed the crime of attempted murder in the coverup of the gangland style slaying of Konstantinos “Gus” Boulis in Florida. This also involved former exim Bank President Phillip Merrill who was also involved with the illegal gambling with Abramoff and associates. She needs to go to prison.

    45. #45 |  W Morse | 

      I think that MBB should be dropped off in Somalia and gang banged
      by the village men,that is if she does’nt repulse them with her fugly
      ass face.She is definitely an over zealous,power hungry,Bush suckling who should have been aborted during her fetal stage.Did she ever get past the fetal stage?Well she “It” is just another in a long list of bush’s useless appointments,or should I say “Ointments”
      because they should feel quite comfortable being rubbed onto one
      anothers butt cheeks.Have a nice day Mary!

    46. #46 |  The Agitator » Blog Archive » Monday Morning Poll: The 2nd Annual Worst Prosecutor of the Year (WOPOTY) Award | 

      […] take last year’s winner, Mississippi District Attorney Forrest Allgood, out of the running.  As with last year, this year’s nominees include transgressions committed this year, in prior years, and […]

    47. #47 |  Mary Beth Buchanan Resigns. | The Agitator | 

      […] hope this awful woman never again gets within spitting distance of public office. I’ll bet a kidney that she […]

    48. #48 |  15-Year-Old Mississippi Girl Faces Life in Prison for Miscarriage | HyperVocal | 

      […] “It appears from the MSSC docket that the district attorney was the perennially loathsome Forrest Allgood. Even back in 2007, journalist Radley Balko said it was “rather chilling to think about how […]

    49. #49 |  Woman Faces Faces Life In Prison For Miscarriage She Had At 15 « Alan Colmes' Liberaland | 

      […] has already sent two people to death row who were later acquitted, and tried to have the evidence destroyed in one of them. When the case was argued in front of the Mississippi Supreme Court back on May […]

    50. #50 |  “Land of the Free” Sightings | Free The Animal | 

      […] takes an extensive look at a few of the worst prosecutors in the country. And shame on any member of any jury in any of these cases who aided and abetted the prosecutors […]

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