by Jill Burke
Monday, April 6, 2009
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The near-final chapter in the battle between Ted Stevens and federal prosecutors will play out Tuesday.
That's when a federal judge is expected to vacate the conviction and drop the charges.
Stevens said the move by the Department of Justice removes the black cloud that descended over him last year and cost him his Senate career.
But the fallout is likely far from over.
The judge is surely angered. Serious prosecutorial errors have cost the court, its jurors, and the government time and money they can never reclaim.
"The misconduct of prosecutors was stunning to me," Stevens' attorney, Brendan Sullivan said last week.
Stevens' defense team applied fierce and frequent pressure to have the judge overseeing the ex-senator's corruption trial toss the case and to keep prosecutors -- whom they accused of hiding and manufacturing evidence -- in line.
"The consensus among experienced prosecutors I know is that they lost their way along the way during the case and made some bad decisions," former prosecutor James Flood said in a phone interview Sunday.