Corrupt Agents Hidden from the Jury
Corruption permeated the trial, yet the judge prohibited its mention to the jury. Because the activity of corrupt federal investigators was not revealed, the jury was deprived of essential facts. This eviscerated Ross’ defense and denied him a fair trial.
The defense protested this, but the prosecution aggressively moved to prevent at trial any reference to the corruption or (in violation of the Brady Rule) any evidence favorable to Ross. They argued that revealing the corruption to the jury would tip off the agents and impede the investigation. The defense countered with a request that trial be postponed until the corruption investigation concluded, so the jury could know all the facts. The judge denied this request and trial commenced, precluding any mention of the corruption. The defense learned after trial that the agents had been aware for months that they were under investigation.
Corrupt agents are a scandal. Yet more scandalous, and threatening to us all, is the violation of Due Process. Fair trials are a pillar of our liberty.