Tables Turned On Federal Prosecutors For Prosecutorial Misconduct!
South Florida federal prosecutors may now face the music for their charges of prosecutorial misconduct. A South Florida physician was acquitted despite the wrongdoings of the prosecutors. Now the prosecutors face their own day in court.
April 21, 2009 – PRLog — Michael Frantz, a leading Federal Prison Consultant for Jail Time Consulting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida recently commented on a South Florida case of alleged prosecutorial misconduct. Well, it isn’t alleged anymore! The monkey’s out of the bag. Dr. Ali Shaygan, accused by federal prosecutors of willingly prescribing painkillers like oxycodone to drug addicts and causing the death of a Palm Beach man, was just acquitted by a South Florida jury. Now the federal prosecutors, in this case, face their own day of judgment and may have their own day in court.
U.S. District Judge Alan Gold forced the lead prosecutor, Seth Cronin, and his cohorts into the witness chair to defend themselves against allegations of prosecutorial misconduct. These allegations stemmed from Cronin’s authorizing two witnesses in the case to secretly, I repeat, secretly record their telephone conversations with Dr. Shaygan’s defense team. Besides being highly unethical, it is a violation of internal policies of the United States Attorney’s Office as well as a violation of federal evidentiary rules. At issue is not only the violation of policy in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, but more significant, breaches of attorney-client privilege under the Constitution’s Sixth Amendment.
Lead prosecutor, Seth Cronin, admitted making the mistakes and stated he did not intend to withhold evidence. Lead Prosecutor Cronin said, “I simply wasn’t thinking.” Wasn’t thinking! You have to come up with something better than that Seth. You are an attorney, a member of the American Bar Association, You are sworn to uphold the law, not violate it. Judge Gold apparently did not buy Cronin’s apology as he said that the government’s actions were more than just mistakes and should have consequences. Michael Frantz emphasized, “Illegal acts by government prosecutors and their agents must stop and should be dealt with sternly. Their purported purpose of upholding the law and the furthering of justice can hardly be accomplished if they break the very laws they are directed to uphold. Especially, as in this case, if they use fabricated evidence and a fictitious complaint as an excuse to spy on the defense team.
Judge Gold further stated, “Important safeguards were not met.” Judge Gold is now considering if the federal prosecutors should pay for their mistake. Current federal law allows criminal defendants to seek reimbursement for their legal expenses if they can show that the government prosecution was “vexatious, frivolous or in bad faith.” Only time will tell what happens, but it is just another case of federal prosecutors believing they are above the law that they are committed to upholding.
Consultant Frantz stated that fortunately, for Dr. Ali Shaygan the case is almost over. “If the 36-year-old Dr. Shaygun would have been convicted, he would have faced at least twenty years in federal prison. Now,” Michael Frantz says, ”he just has to live with all the bad press and publicity he has incurred about the case and the off-handed comments and jokes that will surely come. Sadly, he will now be under constant scrutiny by some individuals and he will have to contend with his own paranoia. In the eyes of some people, even if you are innocent you are still guilty. Time heals everything and Dr. Shaygan has that to look forward to.
About Jail Time Consulting: Michael Frantz is a leading national Federal Prison Consultant with Jail Time Consulting. He has authored a book on Federal Prison titled, “Jail Time, What you need to know…Before you go to federal prison!” as well as 35 JT Special Reports© on various prison issues affecting both inmates and their families. He writes a daily blog on the Jail Time Consulting website.
Jail Time Consulting is a Federal Prison Consulting firm providing consulting services, research, sentence reduction techniques, and client positioning for BOP programs. JT Consulting has six offices in the United States and offers solutions to the problems that men and women facing federal prison are confronted with. We work closely with our clients and their attorneys to provide the lowest possible net sentence. We prepare and position our clients for admission to the 500-Hour Residential Drug Abuse Program which offers the inmate a 12-month sentence reduction and up to a 6 month halfway house designation. We also all four of the BOP’s other sentence reduction programs including the First Step Act, the Second Chance Act, the Compassionate Release Program, and the Commutation of Sentence Program.