By Ted Land
Channel 2 News
2:51 PM AKDT, June 6, 2012
After the mishandled trial of former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, the U.S. Senate is trying to decide if it should change the rules for how federal prosecutors handle evidence.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) argued, Wednesday, for reform before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is considering her bill, the Fairness in Disclosure of Evidence Act.
The legislation, introduced in March, would set standards which would require prosecutors to do a better job of sharing information with the defense.
A recent report found no criminal wrongdoing on the part of federal prosecutors during Stevens’ trial on corruption charges.
But the report did find that prosecutors held back evidence which would have helped Stevens in his defense.
“If the Justice Department is going to allow a case involving a sitting senator seeking re-election to go to a jury weeks before that senator's general election, it must be absolutely certain that the defendant's rights were meticulously observed,” Murkowski told the committee, Wednesday.
Murkowski's bill is co-sponsored by Republicans and Democrats, including Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), who beat Stevens in the 2008 election.Email Ted Land
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