Court Rules FBI Agent Connolly Wrongfully Convicted: Ordered Discharged From Florida Prisonl!!!!

(3) John ConnollyFrom the last lines of the majority opinion:

“We therefore grant John J. Connolly, Jr.’s motion for reconsideration, vacate the conviction and sentence in lower tribunal number 01-8287D, and remand to the trial court to discharge Connolly therefrom. Connolly’s discharge shall be stayed until any and all post-appeal motions are final.
Reversed and remanded


24 thoughts on “Court Rules FBI Agent Connolly Wrongfully Convicted: Ordered Discharged From Florida Prisonl!!!!

  1. Not releasing Connolly makes me think the Feds believe they can get a third bite at the apple. Is the Florida appeals court going to convene en bank to decide the man’s fate? Poor guy must be walking the ceiling of his cell. How might Connolly’s release effect Bulger’s appeal, and the deals the “G” made with Flemmi, and, others? Is there any potential for fireworks, if, and, when, Connolly hits the street?

    1. Khalid:

      Probably the government will appeal but the travesty is that unless Connolly is given bail he will remain in prison even though his conviction has been reversed. There’s nothing but full malice on one side against a guy with little support; his appellate team was a volunteer law group but it has been six years for him, four of them on the Florida charge (he had two years to go on the federal charge when he was convicted) he’s waited for his day to come — you are right he must be walking the ceiling even though he should probably have given up all hope by now.
      His release will have no effect on anything; Connolly may make a lot of allegations but he has been painted as a “corrupt FBI agent” so hardly anyone will give them credence. Bulger never had a chance on appeal; he never contested many of the charges against him unless he is alleging he had a right to murder people, store guns, launder money, etc., because O’Sullivan told him he could do whatever he wanted but no one, not even Joe Stalin ever asserted such a right.

      1. It reminds me of Dreyfus all the more. The French High Command kept Dreyfus in prison despite knowing full well that Esterhazy was the real culprit.

        1. Khalid:

          Dreyfus smelled of anti-Semetism, here the smell I get is of anti-Bulgerism. I can’t get over the idea that a vengeful prosecutor motivated by endearing himself to others believed Billy Bulger represented some great evil and that Connolly was part of his evil empire. There is the part of those in power trying not to publicly acknowledge their evil acts as in Dreyfus and a small cabal working against Connolly. I’m not sure but in Dreyfus didn’t the media slowly go over to his side. Here it’ll always vilify Connolly.

  2. Matt:

    Emile Zola was the French novelist who never forgot about Captain Dreyfus. He kept the unjustly accused army officer’s plight in the public consciousness, relentlessly campaigning for the release of Dreyfus in the French media of his day, until, at last, the French government could no longer bear the punishment of his pen, and, freed the innocent man.

    Good work, Matt.

    1. Khalid:

      Thanks but I’m far from an Emile Zola, I’m more like Emile LaPorte. You might ask who is he; well that’s what people ask when they hear my name. I was thinking of writing a small pamphlet “I Accuse” aftet the idea of Zola against the Florida judiciary’s inept handling of Connolly’s appeal but never got around to it because I continually debated with myself the wisdom of doing it. I feared the judges may felt forced to justify their incarceration as the dissenting judge did.

      Look at his situation now, six years after his conviction which a majority says is error, and the dissent makes no sense, he is still in prison. You’d think at a minimum since there is reasonable doubt as to the validity of his conviction he’d be let out of prison on bail while the judges decide what’s best which often depends on what they had for breakfast.

      Again thanks fo the nice words.

  3. * ” anyone who had even minimal knowledge of ” Carlos ” would certainly know …. etc.” … Mea Culpa and a weary yawn … the tired trope of ” unarmed to a battle of wits ” was deliberately chosen to describe your enervated Wit; at least as it displays itself regarding choosing to skirmish over style more than aught else in what I write about. I am logical and precise in argument Declan; though I share the Hibernian’s love for a deftly turned figure and sharply delivered play on words. So, reveal yourself to me in that guise Declan. I am aware of your ability to do so and note I was always logical and precise, and courteous, responding to your argumentativeness about my comment … Turner. It was no great deal … It was a chance and negligible encounter under odd circumstances at an odd time and an odd place. It was a window into time over whose transom you were allowed to peer for our collective …. Amooooozzzzement 🙂 … You jumped into a logical disputation I was having wirh Matt concerning his characterization to me of Howie Carr … a controversial and vilified villain on this blog … as ” Your Friend Howie ” and my taking exception to this. Howie can be a real dick. We all know this, but unlike other Bulger bashers he has some credentials in the entire business that they do not. I am not going to qualify the matter further than that, but note that …. ” from jump st.” …. I did not like the remark … found Matt’s charmingly homey explanation of it transparent and disingenuous, and I did not accept a dismissive … aw shucks …. all such in OBVIOUS jesr attitude about it. Not my Naturrrhhhhahhh’ 🙂 … There is a critical difference between a JIBE and a JEST … ” JEST” SAYIN’ 🙂 … So it’s OVAHHH’ now Declan. Try not to become unstuck or have the molecular stability of what Big Bill Buckley would call your ” Thinking Apparatus” get further excited and disturbed. I am not an Insult Comic. I prefer logic, good rational argument and word play that gives us all a kind and therapeutic laugh.
    POSTSCRIPT : Seven or eight months ago when THE TRIAL was ended, Matt was publicly wrestling with whether to end blogging altogether; or if he continued , to institute a wholesale name change. In fact he tried out a couple different ones. AND THEN…. he blogged about a Fellow … a sort of Socratic Thorn in his side who had been privately communicating with him since the Blog’s inception. He wrote that this fellow had strongly advised him that he had created a BRAND with THE TRIAL OF WHITEY BULGER, and that he ” Should stick wirh the One who brought him to the dance” , and not change the Blog name. That fellow, Declan old boy … Was Me 🙂 … Matt will confirm this. My Interest has ever been more than a betting one ; Count on it !!!!!!!! Again…. SLAINTE

    1. J.K.M,
      I was genuinely shocked and dismayed at your sudden declaration that you would no longer be posting. But I assumed you would still be reading, so I decided to “tickle the wire” with my question to Matt. I am pleased with the results so far and hope you boys can get over your differences and continue the dialogue.

  4. A misquote (“anyone that knew anything about……would know that …..etc” …whose quote was that?), name calling , and a tired old “unarmed in a battle of wits” line. Sad last post for the man that once was the glue that held this dying blog together.

  5. Declan, This is the problem with blogs. You offer a diatribe and unsubstantiated generalities and suggest others engage in your strong suit, which I have not. You offer up a ” didactic ramble ” as you accuse others of such and your remarks seem peevish, petty, and misinformed. My ” overly defensive reaction ” to Rather’s quibble about a date of a scant encounter with a young hood thirty years ago, David Turner, and a date I bracketed in question marks to begin with, was not taken either amiss or as overly defensive by him. He, unlike yourself, issues a manly challenge and accepts a manly response and then … mans up as to acknowledging that his initial challenge may have been unnecessarily strident. We moved on in a spirit of mutual respect. I have none for you . Yes, ” anyone who knew anything about these matters would know that his (Merlino’s) first name was ‘Mello’ .” But of course his first name was Carmello, Perfessor. And unless you were on some sort of intimate terms with the bum, which I doubt, I don’t think you would refer to him as ‘Mello.’ …. You see … you care too much for such details. I can call him ‘ Carlos ‘ because that is close enough for me. He is incidental and inconsequential to me. I have neckties that are older than you Declan; and I know his type. And yours. You envy and you snipe. You speak in generalities ; If your KNOW certain things I have broadly written upon are incorrect then substantiate that claim. You subscribe to that milquetoast intellectual school of thinking that you can write … the sky is shaped like the inside of my empty skull … and because you write it, we should all believe that the sky is shaped like the inside of Declan’s empty skull. I have more faith in Matt and Rather and William and NC and Jan and Patty and other readers of and writers to this blog, than you Declan. I leave it to them to bring their Wits to the fray; A battle to which you come relatively unarmed. Once again you have jumped like a scoldings schoolmistress on one of my comments. In this case a graceful apologia and essentially a homage to Matt. You have sullied the field. You have robbed Matt of the opportunity to respond or let it lay by jumping in like the yelping, snarling, vicious little poodle you are. Are we clear on that? … I am clear now of this blog. I enjoyed it. I shared on it. I had some discursive, playful, linguistic fun on it ; and I never overestimated, nor underestimated , my contribution. I point directly as always to the truth. SLAINTE 🙂

  6. Matt,

    I thought (hoped?) he was going to stick to his word as well. While his posts are mildly amusing at times, he seemed to have rounded a corner recently and is heading in a strange direction. His didactic ramblings, some of which I KNOW from personal experience to be completely incorrect, have taken on a strangely defensive tone, beginning with his overly defensive missive to Rather Not, who I’m afraid was fairly accurate in his assessment of the David Turner “Carlos” Merlino claims.anyone that had even minimal knowledge of “Carlos” would certainly know that he was ALWAYS referred to as Mello, so confusing his name as Carlos is dubious at best.

    Following that diatribe I began to worry about his stability when he took such great umbrage at what was VERY obviously a throw away statement made in obvious jest regarding “his friend”. As you stated (and everyone recognized from jump street), it was an innocuous comment that people use in jest frequently…when you explained it to him in a way that made it even more crystal clear, he became even angrier, and started making the strange statements that seemed to imply that he was actually in no small part responsible for the success of the blog!!

    Somehow, I feel like you haven’t heard the last of him. Choose your words carefully, or you might lose him for good, and if he leaves, apparently, you’re going to have a tough time keeping this thing afloat!!

  7. Matt , Let me be a man of several carefully selected words in this case : First I appreciate that Rather, a fellow enthusiast of your blog and witty contributor posed the question ; Second, We will not belabor the point, but the thread is unmistakable as to the sequence and content of the matters at issue. Your construction of them here is … misleading and in a sense, gratuitous, as I tossed you a verbal bouquet before, I thought , exiting from the Debating Union as artfully as possible. But as you are belatedly responding, let me iterate the sequence : You tossed off a remark about Howie to me. I did take umbrage as to its tone and context you made it in as it was at best a complete non sequitur and at worst a cheap shot. I responded pointedly. You responded by misquoting yourself and with no coherence in your further remarks in that response waxed on with some admixture of “Whitey” and Howie . It was … confusing … as you made the crack about Howie, misquoted yourself saying ” Your friend Whitey ” and then after this amusing conflation, offfered observations that were naturally out of context and an uncharacteristic hodgepodge, especially coming from you. I then pointed out these inconsistencies ; and noted the disparity between such truck and your usual drily concise analysis and exposition of argument. I implored you to hew to the reason in the argument and to respond rationally ; instead of with the fabulous farrago of self-serving elements of the truth according to MTC ; Rather than … The Truth. Your amusing mis-constructions are what we decry the Globe and Herald fabulists as being too wedded with regarding the body of the accounts surrounding all things ” Whitey” , and I expect better from you. But, it is a tempest in the teapot Matt. We have each steeped our leaves in this brew Ha Ha 🙂 long enough, so let’s mindfully sip from our respective cups in a spirit of oriental calm and regard the matter as resolved. I do Respect you and know that you are a Stand Up Guy by any definition of same. GOK is cool ; just caught me at a hot moment when my Irish was up. Respects Matt and keep up your Good Work !!!

        1. Rather:

          At first I had no idea who J.K.M was but after a while I figured it out. Good question. I had no idea why youu asked it so I went back to his last few comments. He took umbrage because I suggested he was a friend of Whitey’s or Howie’s in passing. So I try to pacify him by saying it’s just an expression. He then came back rejecting my explanation and writing about me taking a run at him.

          I wasn’t interested in going off on that tangent so I tried to get off the subject but he wanted to stay on it. He then, two comments ago, started to go after GOK who complained about lengthy comments. Then the last comment, which I did not read when he wrote it since I wasn’t interested in continuing along the road we had been on, I just read to see why you wondered if he was really bailing.

          He wrote: “I will not add my comments to your blog any further. Henpeckin by the ilk of GOK and your seeking its refuge apparently, convinces me you have no heart for the argument anymore. Are you a Stand Up Guy Matt??? . . . I thought you were. Now, I am not so sure.” Earlier in that comment he told me he contributed to the blog when interest seemed flagging whatever that was supposed to indicate.

          A few posts ago he said: “Don’t get me going on Howie. I had my own reasons for establishing a rapport with him. Among the results of it I believe he dialed back his mockery of Senate President Bulger.” I found that unusual because on that same date Howie was dragging Billy’s name in out of the blue to attack him again calling him the “corrupt midget.”

          So if he’s a man of his word I’d say that we won’t hear from him anymore. The blog went on before him and will continue on now that he’s left.

  8. I am not surprised by the result but that the courts had the courage to follow through with this, shame it took so long.

    From what I have read about Connolly’s statements to reports while in jail, I don’t get the impression that he will just go quietly into the good night. This ruling will probably lead to some dark days.

    Matt – Do you think his bitterness towards those who railroaded him cause him to seek “embarrassing the family”

    1. Another:

      Hard to say. Connolly loved the FBI. Does he recognize it betrayed him, I don’t know. Your question reminded me of an incident near the end of his trial when he walked by me heading into the courtroom and said something negative about J. Edgar Hoover. I didn’t get all that he said but it was an indication to me that he was beginning to see that he was a scapegoat.

      Connolly likes to talk. He should be advised to keep his mouth shut for a while. His credibility is not too high so whatever he says won’t hold much water. The case still isn’t over. The Florida Supreme Court may take it and it can change the result. As to what happens down the road it is hard to tell and your guess is as good as mine but who would ever have thought that Whitey’s exit from the scene would not end the saga. Hope you are well.

  9. Matt, Great news: an innocent man may soon be freed. But Matt what “post-appeal motions” can the state make? I can see Connolly’s attorneys filing a motion for attorney’s fees and costs, but does the prosecution have any further motions to file? PLEASE check and see if this is the end of the line for the prosecutions case. I was under the impression that this was the final appeal for both Connolly and the State.

    1. William:

      Connolly’s case will be appealed to the next higher court in Florida which is the Supreme Court. The prosecutor will make the appeal and it will stay Connolly’s release. I would hope that he’ll be able to get out on bail pending this. If the Supreme Court accepts it then Connolly is still in jeopardy pending its final decision. There’s a forceful dissent in the case by a judge who I believe has connection with the prosecutor’s office. I’d guess it was written in order to induce the Supreme Court to take the case. As you know the judges make the law so any result can come from this but right now John has a couple of aces in his pocket but the cards are still being dealt.

  10. Mr. MATT, I too am happy for Mr. CONNOLLY and his family. Hopefully, this sordid chapter is all behind him and he can go on to live his remaining years peacefully and in good health ……

    1. Gus:

      The ordeal is not quite over. I understand the state can appeal the decision to the higher court. So Connolly might be held for a short time unless the Supreme court of Florida takes the case and then it will be another year or so until it’s final. There’s much at stake here for the federal government so it will be working behind the scene to keep Connolly in jail and to influence the highest court in Florida. The drama continues.

  11. I never thought I’d say this, but this is good news. I think that he served plenty of time for his part in this. Did he deserve time, yes, but so did his heart-attack coward, bribe-taking boss.

    1. Kristi:

      My point throughout this is he has done enough time; it’s good he’s going to hit the street again.

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