Home Contact Register Subscribe to the Beacon Login

Monday, November 16, 2009

THE PREVARICATING PROSECUTOR III, NO. 4: STATE’S ATTORNEY WITHHOLDS EXCULPATORY EVIDENCE FROM BLUNT

State's Attorney
Richard Riha
Assistant State's Attorney
Cynthia Feland
Assistant State's Attorney
Lloyd Suhr

 

Against North Dakota Rules of Criminal Procedure and the North Dakota Rules of Professional Conduct, Feland and Suhr withheld Wahl’s November 8, 2007, memo designated as the “ Wahl/Feland Memo”,from Blunt and his attorney Mike Hoffman. Feland and Suhr (to this day) have withheld this unmistakably exculpatory document from Blunt and Hoffman; a document that would have allowed Hoffman to argue at pre-trial that the sick leave and moving expenses had no probable cause to support them and therefore should not be added to the case against Blunt. Possession of the memo would have also allowed Hoffman to stop dead the primary assertion of the prosecutors regarding Sandy Blunt’s preferential treatment of WSI employees (which was a major prosecutorial theme in the trial).

 

In withholding this extremely significant and exculpatory document, Feland and Suhr knowingly violated “the constitutional imperative” under ND Rule 16 (Discovery And Inspection) “that the suppression by the prosecution of evidence favorable to an accused upon request violates due process where the evidence is material either to the guilt or punishment, irrespective of the good faith or bad faith of the prosecution.” Feland and Suhr also further violated their obligations under Rule 3.8 (Special Responsibilities of A Prosecutor) to "... refrain from prosecuting a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by probable cause.” In this case, both Feland and Suhr without question KNEW this supposed crime was(is) “not supported by probable cause.” 

 

Rule 3.8 also goes on to strictly note: A prosecutor has the responsibility of a minister of justice … This responsibility carries with it specific obligations to see that the defendant is accorded procedural justice and that guilt is decided upon the basis of sufficient evidence. This responsibility also obligates the prosecutor to promptly make available to the defense information which is known, material and favorable to the defendant's position. Discovery of such information by the prosecutor confers no property right in the same upon the prosecutor; rather, in the interest of seeing that the truth is ascertained and all proceedings justly determined, the defense should be accorded ready access to any such information. 

Click here to email your elected representatives.

Comments

From the start, I’ve been troubled by the prosecution of Mr. Blunt. I have a strong belief in our justice system, however. I am very confident that the North Dakota Supreme Court will do right by Mr. Blunt. If they don’t, I believe it will be an aberration to be added to the O.J. Simpson murder trial on the list of blundering injustices.

Following Mr. Blunt’s aquital, there had better be a full and complete review of the prosecutors, given the information exposed by Mr. Cates. Actions, just like elections, have consequences!

Lynn Bergman on November 16, 2009 at 04:14 pm

To this author, the trial transcript gives fairly plain and damning evidence that both Feland and Wahl could converse as they did in open court ONLY if they both knew that attorney Hoffman did not know of the November 8, 2007 memo. It smells like a collusion to conspire to commit legal fraud in open court. While admittedly being a legal layman, it seems to me that this behavior is the very essence of perjury; perjury activel

Dress on April 22, 2010 at 08:28 am
Page 1 of 1        

Post a Comment


Name   
Email   
URL   
Human?
  
 

Upload Image    

Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?