Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pete Kott Rumor: Court Judgment Dismissed or Overturned or Something

[Consider this a heads' up rumor.  I'm posting this with much less back up than I normally would. ] 

Something is happening and I'm not clear on the details, but since I get dissed as 'just a blogger' I can use my blogger's license (something like poetic license for bloggers) to report this without much more than one usually unreliable source.

The report is that Pete Kott's case has been dismissed.  Or maybe overturned.  There was also mention of the possibility that he could get compensation for time served.

Meanwhile Tom Anderson was released from Sheridan Correctional Camp last month and is at a Seattle half-way house.   Rick Smith, I'm told, was released, also from Sheridan, very recently (maybe it was yesterday), and is at the Bellingham half-way house.

Alaska prisoners, it appears, now go to one of four half-way houses - two in Tacoma, one in Seattle, and one in Bellingham.  The company now with the contract for Federal half-way houses, GEO, does not have any half-way house facilities in Alaska.

I'm really uncomfortable putting up a post like this, so I've called the US attorney's office to see if I can get some confirmation and I'm waiting for a call back (it's lunch time) before posting anything.

OK, I found more on this on White Collar Crime Prof Blog:

Kott Decision Matches Kohring - Prosecutors Violated Brady

In an unpublished memorandum decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found that Peter Kott's conviction, like Kohring, needed to be reversed because of Brady violations by prosecutors.  The court in citing the Supreme Court's decision in Bagley said, that "there is a reasonable probability that, had the evidence been disclosed to the defense, the result of the proceeding would have been different."  The court remanded it to the district court to determine if the prosecution "acted flagrantly, willfully, or in bad faith."
Judge Fletcher concurred and dissented in part, finding a new trial an insufficient remedy.  She wrote to express the view that the court's supervisory authority should be used and the indictment should be dismissed with prejudice. Judge Fletcher stated:
"I am deeply troubled by the government's lack of contrition in this case. Despite their assurances that they take this matter seriously, the government attorneys have attempted to minimize the extent and seriousness of the prosecutorial misconduct and even assert that Kott received a fair trial -- despite the the government's failure to disclose thousands of pages that reveal, in part, prior inconsistent statements by the government's star witnesses, ..., regarding the payments Kott allegedly received."
For prior posts, see here, here, here, and here.  Peter Kott was represented by Sheryl Gordon McCloud of Seattle, Washington.

UPDATE 1pm:  It turns out the Alaska Dispatch had this story an hour ago.

UPDATE 2:30pm:  I found this photo I took of Kott attorney McCloud on November 17, 2009.  You can see the arguments she made then.

UPDATE 4:30pm: I should read my own blog links. Alaska Political Corruption one of my Alaska sites in the blogroll on the right had this story at 11:35am.

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