DiMasi & DoJ

[Note: This was supposed to be posted yesterday, 3/7, but apparently I did something wrong, so I'm posting Friday]

We've been hearing a lot recently about alleged overzealousness of the Department of Justice, following the suicide of activist Aaron Swartz. The attention and scrutiny is good; but it needs to also come to bear in cases with less sympathetic figures receiving the questionable treatment.

That's why Milton Valencia's interview with Sal DiMasi's wife is a welcome sight in today's Globe. The treatment of DiMasi has the appearance of being, well, pretty much despicable.

Harvey Silverglate wrote about this in the Phoenix last summer.

It is difficult to avoid suspecting that the [Federal Bureau of Prisons] chose a distant prison in order to persuade DiMasi that, if he were to testify helpfully (translation: tell prosecutors what they wanted to hear), he would be rewarded with a more convenient prison assignment and other amelioration of his conditions and length of confinement.

You should read the whole piece. As with Valencia's article today, we are largely guessing at what the DoJ is guilty of -- but that's the DoJ's fault, not ours, and we should demand a great deal more accounting than we're getting.

Right here locally, we are chock-full with opportunities to make such demands. In addition to Swartz and DiMasi, we have the truly flabbergasting multi-year-and-still-going investigation of probation patronage, among others -- and we now have the former US Attorney, whose games of prosecutorial whack-a-mole were regularly raked over in the Phoenix, offering up his experience for examination in his campaign for US Senate.


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