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June 2011 , Page 5 

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From Ted Stevens to Lauren Stevens: The Federal Conviction Train Goes off the Rails (From the President)

By Jim E. Lavine

I practiced law for a long time and made a number of Rule 29 motions. … I don’t have a very good track record with those motions. In my seven and a half years as a jurist[,] I have never granted one. There is, however, always a first.  

U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus (D. Md.)United States v. Lauren Stevens, May 10, 20111 

Federal prosecutors have tremendous power. A couple of years ago, Boston criminal defense lawyer Harvey A. Silverglate published an immensely popular book entitled Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent, about his coming to “the inescapable conclusion that the federal criminal justice system has become a crude conviction machine instead of an engine of truth and justice.”2 

I, too, have felt that the engine of truth and justice had gone off the rails. But in several cases this year it was the runaway federal conviction train that jumped the tracks.

About the same time Silverglate’s book was published, federal prosecutors were caught violating the cons

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