Dr. Cyril Wecht

Forensic medical expert Cyril H. Wecht provides a vitally needed defendant’s perspective on the terrible Justice Department misconduct that USA Today just documented in a major investigative project.

On Sept. 23, the paper reported 201 criminal cases in which federal judges found that prosecutors broke laws or ethics rules. Overall, the abuses put innocent people in jail, and set guilty people free.

Dr. Wecht’s prosecution didn’t fall within the newspaper’s scope because his first judge in Pittsburgh coddled the prosecution instead of criticizing it.  But we at the Justice Integrity Project, a non-partisan legal reform group, documented Wecht’s ordeal from 84 overblown felony charges in 2006 carrying long prison sentences for trivial matters. The defendant achieved victory last year at age 78 when a new judge pressured prosecutors to drop the final charges.

We asked the defendant to describe what it's like to be unfairly accused.

“Once a victim has been targeted,” he wrote back, “there are no limits to the amount of time, energy, money, and use of personnel that the Feds will employ to pursue and persecute that individual. No charge will be considered too petty or unimportant in their efforts to coerce the victim into pleading guilty to avoid the frightening possibility of a lengthy jail term.”

Wecht, who holds both M.D. and J.D. degrees, is a world-famous consultant in his specialty of forensic medicine.  Also, he’s a longtime professor of medicine, a leader of medical societies and the author of more than 550 professional publications and many books. 

Moreover, he’s an outspoken expert on celebrity deaths, including his courageous criticism of the federal government’s official account of the single-bullet theory for the 1963 assassination of President Kennedy. For 20 years prior to his indictment, he had been elected as the part-time, $65,000-a-year coroner for Allegheny County in Western Pennsylvania, where he was also Democratic county chairman.

-- Andrew Kreig

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Documents Prosecutorial Misconduct

Federal judges have repeatedly identified serious misconduct by U.S. Department of Justice prosecutors, according to a six-month investigation published Sept. 23 by USA TODAY. This outstanding, authoritative and vitally needed article helps break down a code of silence whereby watchdog mechanisms within the DOJ, the courts, Congress and the traditional news media fail speak out against rampant abuses by authorities.

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Washington Post columnist David Broder cited New Jersey's freshman Gov. Chris Christie as a role model for Pennsylvania's Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett, who similarly boasts of a platform to limit government and fight crime. But Broder got the Christie story completely backward in his Sept. 2 column. The influential pundit described Corbett, his state's attorney general and also a former U.S. attorney, this way:

His claim to fame is that his investigations of corrupt legislators have so far sent several of them to jail.  In this race, he has modeled himself on Chris Christie, the freshman governor of New Jersey, promising, as Christie did, to oppose new taxes and shrink state government.

Far from limiting government, Christie, right, wasted vast amounts of taxpayer funds to help himself and his cronies. Look no farther than his scheme as U.S. attorney to connive with Solomon Dwek, a big-time bank swindler and brothel operator, to crush political opponents with criminal charges timed to explode at the beginning of the 2009 Christie campaign.

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$3.6 Billion Aftermath

Corporate turn-around expert William Procida and hedge fund founder Thane Ritchie were DC Update guests Sept. 2 on the My Technology Lawyer Radio network as they provided first-hand accounts of federal court irregularities in Minnesota that they claim victimize lenders and investors in one of the largest Ponzi schemes in U.S. history.

During the show, they told co-hosts from the Justice Integrity Project and network founder Scott Draughon about why they’re speaking out against federally orchestrated injustices hurting the fraud victims of Minnesota businessman Thomas J. Petters. The latter’s Ponzi

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Victims of a massive financial fraud unveiled a documentary Aug. 25 in Minneapolis that portrays federal authorities as helping bankruptcy lawyers and the government feast on dwindling victim assets without adequate protections for fairness.

The Second Fraud, spiked last December from planned showings on four Minnesota TV stations with purchased time, tackles an especially sensitive story in that state: What happened after local financier Thomas Petters caused the estimated $3.65

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Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) hosted me Aug. 11 on a nationwide conference call to hear about our recent Justice Integrity Project (JIP) revelations about federal law enforcers. Open to the public, the core of the discussion within PDA’s highly active Accountability and Justice Group involved such familiar names as former

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