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Georgia Thompson's conviction tossed

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Georgia Thompson's conviction tossed

Postby Michael Patrick » Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:40 pm

Whoa, I didn't see this one coming...

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit has reversed the convictions of Georgia Thompson and ordered her released from prison, according to the US Attorney's office in Milwaukee.

Thompson, a former state purchasing employee, was convicted of steering a travel contract to a company whose executives had given the campaign of Gov. Jim Doyle large contributions.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago heard the case on Thursday and issued a one-page order, overturning the convictions and ordering Thompson released from the federal prison in Illinois where she is being held.

Thompson will remain free on a signature bond until the court of appeals issues a written explanation of its decision, which will be issued "in due course," the order said.

The office of U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic, who was not in the office and unavailable for comment, issued a press release announcing the decision and congratulating Thompson's attorneys. There was no word on whether there will be an appeal.


And what's up with the prosecutor conragtulating her attorneys?? I can't wait to hear the backstory on this one... :shock:
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Postby Like_Stink » Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:43 pm

I knew the ruling would be today - frankly, she never broke a law and the jury convicted her based on ideas that were never even part of the case. Fortunately an appeal allows ou to present in front of folks with some concept of law.

Ultimately, she should sue the UW for this, but no one will.

The prosecutor actually apologized to her after the initial verdict. He didn't expect it and didn't think it was right. Strange.

Heard from Dave S. lately??
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Postby Andy Olsen » Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:53 pm

Congratulations to Ms Thompson! This case always struck me as bizarre. State workers often try and give state business to state companies. Why that would be illegal is hard to understand.

Whenever they mention "US Attorney Steven Biskupic," they should be accurate and say "US Attorney Steven Biskupic, suspiciously not targetd by the Rove White House for failing to use his office for partisan purposes."

Just a thought.
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Postby aaronetc » Thu Apr 05, 2007 6:51 pm

Wonder if channel 27 will keep pumping this as one of their big scoops to help the community...
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Postby Bwis53 » Thu Apr 05, 2007 11:32 pm

I think if I was her, I'd be so mad, I'd be thinking of writing a tell-all about now. May as well make some money off the pimps.

Could she sue?
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Postby rumrunner » Fri Apr 06, 2007 11:53 am

I think she should sue 27 for all the publicity they tried to get for "saving" the community from her, as Tony would believe. Well, at least Tony Galli saved us from her for at least four months. Now I'll have to start locking my doors again damn it. The people they let on the streets I tell ya. Tony please save us!
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Postby noblejoanie » Fri Apr 06, 2007 11:53 am

Let's give it up for Steve Hurley!!!! Great job, Steve.

So, any doubts left that prosecutions under the Rove regime can be without foundation and politically motivated? This was the judicial equivalent of a primal scream. Appellate courts rarely rule at the close of oral argument to acquit and to release a prisoner. Wow. Good on the 7th circuit, come to think of it!!
Last edited by noblejoanie on Fri Apr 06, 2007 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Michael Patrick » Fri Apr 06, 2007 12:29 pm

Just so ya know... In my original post, I was surprised because I haven't been following real closely and didn't realize a decision was imminent. I also didn't realize that you could win an acquittal on appeal.

I'm not surprised she won, because the case seemed weak from the start.
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Postby Andy Olsen » Fri Apr 06, 2007 2:45 pm

Why, this case seems to have attracted national attention as a possible example of partisan political prosecutions!

http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/002965.php
http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/ar ... 10430.html
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Postby TheBookPolice » Fri Apr 06, 2007 3:04 pm

Andy Olsen wrote:Why, this case seems to have attracted national attention as a possible example of partisan political prosecutions!

http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/002965.php
http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/ar ... 10430.html


A diary on the subject is climbing the ranks of the Recommended at DailyKos, as we speak.
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Postby admin » Fri Apr 06, 2007 3:29 pm

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Postby goofticket » Fri Apr 06, 2007 7:49 pm

Bye Bye Biskupic.
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Postby gargantua » Sun Apr 08, 2007 9:46 pm

Back at work, when the initial verdict came out, I spoke "appropriately" in that I said I just never heard anything that sounded like a crime. A little bad judgement in talking the political talk....but bad judgement is not usually a crime, particularly in this context.

However....now I will just say it...this jury was dumber than OJ's jury. They were a bunch of fucktards. I remember clearly a media interview with one of the dopes in which he basically agreed that he was sure there was corruption higher up....based on what, asshole?!?!?

I wish every member of that jury would now have to spend a day in the same prison for every day that Georgia Thompson had to spend there.

People may appropriately question prosecutorial judgement and motives in this case, but the role of the idiots...er, jurors, should not be lost here.

Bet Ziegler got at least 80% of their votes.
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Postby noblejoanie » Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:23 am

The NYTimes finally picks up on the significance of the Thompson case:
"As Congress investigates the politicization of the United States attorney offices by the Bush administration, it should review the extraordinary events the other day in a federal courtroom in Wisconsin. The case involved Georgia Thompson, a state employee sent to prison on the flimsiest of corruption charges just as her boss, a Democrat, was fighting off a Republican challenger. It just might shed some light on a question that lurks behind the firing of eight top federal prosecutors: what did the surviving attorneys do to escape the axe?"
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/09/opini ... n1.html?hp
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Postby buckyor » Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:04 pm

Who was the judge in this case, anyway?

There's a procedure in criminal cases called a directed verdict, or sometimes now called a motion for acquittal. I was reminded of it the other day watching "Presumed Innocent." You can move for directed verdict at the close of the prosecution's case basically arguing that the evidence is not sufficient on its face to sustain a conviction. If granted, the charges are dismissed and the case never even goes to the jury. I'm not a criminal lawyer, but I think it's a pretty routine motion that is made in almost every instance, but is almost never granted. Presumably, the defense lawyer made such a motion in this case, and if so, the judge must not have granted it. Based on the appellate court's actions, such a motion should have been granted in this instance.

The standard for the suficiency of evidence is remarkably low, and it is extremely rare for a reviewing court to overturn a verdict on the grounds that the evidence did not meet this standard. For the 7th circuit to reach such a decision, and not the trial judge, is curious.
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