In response to serious allegations of prosecutorial misconduct, the Department of Justice is seeking to have Senator Stevens' felony convictions thrown out. The Washington Post editorializes:
this extraordinary reversal cannot erase or forgive the ugly behavior that gave rise to the indictment in the first place. Trial records and testimony painted a picture of a man so consumed with his own sense of entitlement that he did not think twice about accepting such expensive freebies as a Viking gas grill, a vibrating Shiatsu massage lounger and a five-foot sculpture of migrating salmon -- not to mention extensive plumbing, electrical and carpentry work on his "chalet" in Girdwood, Alaska. All told, the government calculated that Mr. Stevens took gifts worth in excess of $250,000.
Gross breaches of law and fairness by prosecutors are the reason that Mr. Stevens will walk free. The Justice Department admitted that the lawyers from the Public Integrity Section who put Mr. Stevens on trial failed to turn over to defense lawyers information about contradictory statements by a key prosecution witness. An agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation who worked on the case also recently alleged that prosecutors had been willfully withholding pertinent evidence from the defense team. . . .
The decision could not have been easy for Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., who cut his teeth as a prosecutor in the very same Public Integrity Section. But it was the right call.