Nowdy sends the following link:
Plenty of Misconduct, and 129 Pages of One Judge’s Disbelief ~ Joe Sexton, Part of ProPublica’s continuing Law & Disorder series on the post Katrina NOPD
And a portion of her comment that struck a chord with me:
Very close to your story
What she is talking about is how Slabbed framed this story. Media bias, yes there is such a thing as cognitive bias is inherent to the human condition, is seen in how various stories are framed. Nowdy well remembers the story of Jamie Perdigao and his tie up with Team Letten and I am pleased to see some of our newer readers taking time to follow the links to that 2008 story from the posts I have brought up from the archives over the past few days. In my opinion it was one of the first public manifestations of problems at Team Letten though I’d be remiss not mentioning the good folks at Patterico’s Pontifications, who have done some excellent work on the topic. More on them in a second.
Back to the post title because I agree with Judge Engelhardt that the worst may be yet to come on this whole prosecutorial misconduct scandal. The persistent rumors of a third DoJ internet commenter proved true but there are also persistent rumors of certain problems at the FBI which bother me greatly. Those that followed Slabbed coverage of the River Birch Investigation real time remember that New Orleans FBI Special Agent In Charge Dave Welker retired in May, 2012. While I am certainly not suggesting Welker did anything wrong I firmly believe there is a backstory to the departure.
My coverage of the US Attorney playing on the internet scandal has been profoundly colored by the musing of a couple of particularly sharp lawyers, one of whom called the implosion of these prosecutions the very day the Sal Perricone news broke. What I find neat is the evolution of the story on these pages as the community here began the proverbial search for the truth immediately. I’d invite everyone to note how the Perricone’s departure in March 2012 lines up on the timeline of the events with Special Agent in Charge Welker’s retirement in May, 2012.
So now we have a jailbreak as everyone from Ray Ray the Chocolate Guy to the former Goatherder in Chief are now crying foul. I am led to understand that Nagin is even possessive of some salacious communications from the former Team Letten. I do not think it will save him but this all illustrates the 3 ring circus like atmosphere that comes with Team Horn’s report on prosecutorial misconduct at Team Letten. And no 3 ring circus would be complete without hearing from Team Letten and for that we must turn to the Lucky Coin Today but before we do that we gotta circle back to Mark Moseley’s insanely good column on the Lens about the dust up between Sean O’Keefe and Jim Letten at Tulane that I featured back in August and again feature today:
Adding to the intrigue, this morning the conservative web site Patterico’s Pontifications published an exclusive inside account of a conversation journalist Charles Johnson had with Letten last month. Letten asked for the conversation to be off record, but Johnson didn’t agree. Johnson claims that, according to Letten, the “decision to prosecute O’Keefe and to accept Letten’s recusal was made at ‘the very highest levels of the Justice Department.’” This comment aligns with O’Keefe’s claim that Attorney General Holder was involved in his prosecution — as usually happens whenever a case has partisan political overtones.
Johnson also implies there was a fairly cozy relationship between Letten and former NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune criminal justice reporter John Simerman, who now writes for The Advocate. Johnson believes Simerman used Letten as an unnamed sourcein a July story about the faceoff with O’Keefe, and cites Simerman’s “very sympathetic portrait of the former U.S. Attorney only days after he resigned in disgrace.”
Simerman, who has declined to engage on the issue in the past, did not immediately respond to a fresh request for comment.
Thus let the PR counter offensive begin:
Stephanie is right about the case facts of the Danziger Bridge shootings remaining intact but she went a good bit farther than that:
Where Engelhardt loses me is in his conclusion: That the jury’s verdict couldn’t stand.
Even if the comments did create a “21st Century carnival atmosphere” — as anonymous comments generally do — that carnival took place well outside the courtroom.
I personally like the concept of anonymous commenters, especially those from informed insiders, which I personally have grow to love dating back to my days with Rowdy Rodent on Yahoo Finance. Informed insiders love to read about themselves and more, far more but I have yet to find a lawyer that shares Stephanie’s conclusion regarding the remedy Judge Engelhardt chose because rogue prosecutors are almost never called to account for their actions. Within a few days of Stephanie’s column we get this from the Advocate:
Two jurors: Overturned Danziger verdict ‘insulting’ ~ Clare Galofaro
In both cases the story is framed as the remedy to the prosecutorial misconduct (ordering a new trial) being the Judge’s fault instead of the prosecutors that stepped out. Clearly this is the message Jim Letten wants put out before the public.
Last week I asked the Slabbed Nation exactly how much independent journalism is worth? Go read Mark Moseley’s column on the Letten – O’Keefe confrontation and contrast it with the coverage in the local for profit media. You won’t find anything like it anywhere except on websites like Slabbed and American Zombie. It also should lead everyone to the conclusion that you can’t achieve true independent journalism emulating the for profit media business model, at least that is where it leads me.