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Grand Jury leaker plea not accepted

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Highway 101, Jun 15, 2007.

  1. Highway 101

    Highway 101 Active Member

    The link: http://www.montereyherald.com/sports/ci_6147162?nclick_check=1

    The lead: SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge took the unusual step Thursday of rejecting a plea deal for an attorney who admitted leaking the grand jury testimony of elite athletes to two newspaper reporters.
    Troy Ellerman's lawyer and federal prosecutors had agreed on a range of punishments, from 15 to 24 months, after Ellerman pleaded guilty to allowing two San Francisco Chronicle reporters to view transcripts of grand jury testimony from Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield and other athletes embroiled in the government's steroids investigation.

    U.S. District Judge Jeffrey S. White said both recommendations were too low and that, as a lawyer, Ellerman "should be held to a higher standard of conduct."

    "The court hereby rejects the plea agreement and refuses to be bound thereby," White said, declaring that Ellerman had "corrupted several different aspects of the criminal justice system," particularly the grand jury. Ellerman lied to government agents, courts and the news media, the judge said.

    White said Ellerman's actions had "impacted all three branches of government," including the legislative branch, by prompting new calls for a federal shield law that would protect journalists from being forced to disclose their sources.
  2. Have Lance and Mark -- or the various journalists organizations -- gone to bat for their source yet?
    Serious question, no snark. Amicus briefs? Anyone know? Mr. Google is failing me.
  3. statrat

    statrat Member

    No. They won't say anything about it. Saw them a few weeks ago at a conference and they said they would not be saying anything regarding who their source was.
  4. OK. Thanks, statrat.
    I think this is rather disngenuous on the part of our two heroes, but what do I know?
  5. PopeDirkBenedict

    PopeDirkBenedict Active Member


    I agree that if Lance/Mark never speak up on behalf of Ellerman, it is rather disingenuous on their part. But this really isn't the point in the proceedings where they would step in. Technically speaking, the trial is still ongoing. With the plea rejected, Ellerman is still considered innocent until proven guilty and could go to trial. The time for Lance/Mark to step in would be at sentencing or in appellate briefs.
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