questionable prosecution brought by U.S. Attorney for Milwaukee Steve Biskupic has been reversed by an appeals court.
This time, it was one of the voter fraud prosecutions Biskupic's office pushed, as part of a joint task force his office created with local prosecutors to investigate whether Democrats had conspired to steal the 2004 election.From the AP
The supervisor of a voter registration drive did not commit a crime during the 2004 election when he failed to stop others from submitting fraudulent voter registration forms, a state appeals court ruled Wednesday.
The court reversed the conviction of Damien Jones on one count of falsifying statements relating to voter registration as party to a crime. Jones, 27, supervised a voter registration drive for a liberal-leaning group in Racine and Kenosha.
The appeals court said he was guilty of poor supervision but that is not a crime.
"We recognize the trial court's concern about voter fraud, and we respect the integrity of the electoral process," Judge Daniel Anderson wrote for the District 2 Court of Appeals. "However, one cannot be convicted of a nonexistent crime."...
Prosecutors initially said Jones took part in the fraud and encouraged the conduct, but after further investigation they acknowledged he was not personally involved and those beneath him were responsible.
In a plea agreement, they agreed to drop the charges in exchange for Jones' guilty plea to a single violation of being party to the crimes....
The appeals court ruled Jones could withdraw his guilty plea, saying state laws "do not criminalize poor supervision of voter registration."
It's been a bad month for Biskupic, who had a prominent prosecution overturned and learned that he'd once been on a list of U.S. attorneys to be fired.Update/Clarification
: The prosecution resulted from Biskupic's joint voter fraud task force with local prosecutors. Some of the cases targeted by the task force were pursued by Biskupic's office, some were pursued by local prosecutors The case above was one of the cases pursued by local prosecutors, which is why it was heard by a state court.Update/Correction
: I'm proud to say that it's rare that I get something wrong, and it's even rarer that I get things grossly wrong, but I'm ashamed to say that this post fits that description. Biskupic's task force was in conjunction with the Milwaukee County D.A., not the Racine County D.A. (directly to Milwaukee County's south), which brought the charges discussed above. Biskupic's office had nothing to do wtih the case. I sincerely regret the error.