From Andrew Kreig:
Harvard’s Nieman Watchdog for journalists published my analysis late Friday entitled, “Feds Bullied Kerik Into 4-Year Term, Hurting Us All,” illustrating another major breakdown in the federal justice system’s prosecution of official corruption cases. The Kerik prosecution has abused the former NYPD chief and Bush Cabinet nominee, along with his family. Readers saw that Kerik for years has been unfairly treated, much like Alabama’s former Gov. Don Siegelman and many other defendant families around the country. Kerik, a staunch Republican, reached out in sympathy last year to the Democrat Siegelman, encouraging him to never give up the fight for justice. http://snipurl.com/ugv4r. Crushed by $4.6 million in legal expenses, thrown in jail pre-trial and with attorneys repeatedly forced off the case by the judge, however, Kerik ultimately pled guilty
on Nov. 5.
In just a few days, a remarkable divide has occurred between the initial mainstream media coverage of Kerik’s sentencing and news coverage on significant Web-based newsites. The progressive defense attorney Jeralyn Merritt published on Saturday a critique of the prosecution (http://snipurl.com/ugv3y) that’s remarkably congruent with the attack by Newsmax publisher Chris Ruddy today at http://snipurl.com/ugv3e. By contrast, only Geraldo Rivera on Sunday among the traditional media has so far (at least to my knowledge) challenged the conventional wisdom that Kerik’s sentencing Thursday showed the federal system rooting out big-time corruption. I explored the failure of judicial oversight in this from a historical viewpoint Sunday
on the Connecticut Watchdog site, based on my five years covering federal courts fulltime for that state’s largest newspaper: http://snipurl.com/ugv4h.
Recognizing that so many journalists face deadline pressures and tight budgets for research, the Justice Integrity Project is being created as a non-partisan, non-profit educational organization to help reporters, academics and community leaders around the nation better understand political corruption and other white-collar cases that are inherently complex and secretive. The famed litigator, Harvard Law adjunct professor and Cato Fellow Harvey Silverglate — author of “Three Felonies a Day: How The Feds Target the Innocent” — just left enthusiastic comments on the Connecticut Watchdog site about the need for such a new education center to provide oversight on official corruption investigations.
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