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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Courts - "Courts - Yet more on: Lobbyist linked to Abramoff quits Indianapolis firm"

Updating three earlier ILB entries, ranging from 2006 to 2011, MainJustice's Mary Jacoby had a story late Tuesday headed Convicted Abramoff Associate Loses Bid to Unseal DOJ Sentencing Proffer." The story begins:

A convicted former assistant to lobbyist Jack Abramoff has lost his bid to make public a document he says would show how prosecutors use threats of excessive prison time to cow defendants into ceding their constitutional right to a trial.

Kevin Ring, 43, who went to prison at Cumberland, Md., in January after appeals from his 2010 conviction were exhausted, had asked that a 2008 reverse proffer presentation from the government be unsealed to serve the public interest.

The burgeoning use of plea bargains to resolve criminal allegations instead of trials is controversial, with some experts questioning whether the constitutional balance is being tipped too far toward prosecutors.

But U.S. District Judge Ellen Huvelle in Washington, D.C., denied Ring’s motion. She found that since the government’s PowerPoint presentation was not submitted as part of the court record, “neither common law nor First Amendment right of access attaches.”

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 12, 2014 10:19 AM
Posted to Courts in general