Federal Prosecutor John Durham and American Justice. 5 of 10

The Court of Appeals Considers Connolly’s Contentions on Salemme’s Perjury

Connolly would file a motion for a new trial based on discovering Salemme lied and also other material. Judge Tauro denied the motion without giving any reason. Connolly then brought the case to the Appeals Court.

That court indicated in its opening line that Connolly was not going to get a fair hearing. Judge Selya wrote the federal courts “are by now painfully familiar with the Winter Hill gang and its corrupt relationship with the Boston office of the FBI.” Hard to escape the feeling that it had slammed the door on Connolly before it heard a word of his appeal. In other words, no matter how egregious his conviction may have been they are just tired of listening about it.

As to the issue of Salemme lies at trial, the appeals court, as expected from its opening line, gave that short shrift. It agreed Salemme was not wholly truthful at his trial. Then it says “this possible perjury is . . . of minor moment.” Why, because the jurors knew of Salemme’s nefarious past and had “good reason to believe that is every word was not deserving of unqualified respect.”

Yikes! A person who admits he is a gangster can perjure himself at trial and because the jury knows he’s a gangster it knows he may be perjuring himself. Doesn’t this bring us back to the critical first issue: why should a gangster be allowed to testify if the jury has to guess at when he is telling the truth?

Judge Selya went on to say the district court judge could conclude that “that neither the alleged perjury nor the attribution of one more murder to Salemme was likely to taint his other testimony.” The problem with that reasoning was the district court judge did not write a decision relative to the issue. He just denied the motion for a trial outright without a hearing.

There was another part of the motion for a new trial which I will next consider but Judge Selya who for whatever reason consults Roget’s Thesaurus when writing his opinions noted that the points raised: “each of which is asthenic, [do not] gain strength by the aggregation.” I had no idea what asthenic meant so I looked it up. It is defined as:  “of, relating to, or exhibiting asthenia.” I looked that up. It is defined as,  “abnormal physical weakness or lack of energy.” It is a medical term. I suppose Judge Selya is suggesting that it is a weak argument to point out a person who provided critical evidence at a trial committed perjury. To me that sounds like an asthenic conclusion. Selya would go on to say that Connolly was not entitled to an evidentiary hearing in the district court because it  “would be supererogatory.”

We must wonder what lessons Durham takes away from this. It appears that the use of perjury at a trial is to be permitted. Does this give Durham the idea he can continue to do this in his other investigations?

Whatever happened to the doctrine: Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus. It is a Latin phrase meaning “false in one thing, false in everything.”[ At common law, it is the legal principle that a witness who testifies falsely about one matter is not credible to testify about any matter. Some courts got away from the doctrine. Judge Posner pointed out in saying the doctrine should not be universally applied that “the mistakes that witnesses make in all innocence must be distinguished from slips that, whether or not they go to the core of the witness’s testimony, show that the witness is a liar.”

In the Connolly case there was no innocent mistake. He lied. It wasn’t “possible perjury” or “alleged perjury” as Judge Selya wrote it was plain old perjury. His lies did go to the core of his testimony.

The judge pointed out that he admitted to committing other murders but those were all before 1972; the jury could well have concluded he had stopped murdering people after he got out of prison in 1988 not knowing he was actively engaged in murder in 1993 or perhaps even more recently. How is it possible to believe that the jury knowing that would have just dismissed it from their determination of his credibility?

7 thoughts on “Federal Prosecutor John Durham and American Justice. 5 of 10

  1. Revenge is best served with a few drops of linseed oil……..


    I don’t know what your plans are to garnish your opus Maximus
    Part II but I want to suggest you call Maine artist Rob Shetterly
    to do some illustrations for your book in the style of Hiermonius
    Bosch and Pieter Brueghel.
    See art examples




    He can include the faces of prosecutors , judges and other
    perps in a John Connolly judicial landscape.
    His prices are reasonable . He lives in Brooksville Maine.
    Good way to immortalize Wyshak et al

    In other news…..

  2. Very good post. What does it say about Tauro and those Appeals Court judges? A confederacy of dishonesty. Is it pure unadulterated evil or just dull. shabby human mediocrity? If the Globe or Herald wrote that Connolly deserved a new trial those cowards, weaklings and frauds would have granted one. The judges, the prosecutors, the DEA and State cops were all part of the criminal conspiracy together with the Mafia to frame Connolly. Justice was not done. 2. You correctly point out that perjury is now accepted testimony in the Federal Courts. Lying to the FBI is punishable by imprisonment but lying under oath at at trial is tolerated. As long as you lie about a person targeted by the media. A special prosecutor or grand inquisitor should be sent to Boston to investigate all those involved, including judges, in framing Connolly.

    1. While walking around castle island I saw a few free men walking the Island too ! I wasn’t happy they were their but my thoughts raced to a political prisoner ( John Connolly ) who’s still in prison !

      The chief witness against John was Frank Salemme who John arrested in New York City resulting in Salemme spending 18 years in prison. Could you call that the ultimate biased witness ?

      I have two sons ( the oldest graduated from B. C. High , Boston College and Law School in New York ) My youngest son graduated from Milton Academy and Harvard University—-I have never introduced them to the political life of Boston (Not even a 6 week summer appointment ) Why ? I had a Judge who’s wife was a politician and I worked for her opponent—-need less to say that every time I appeared before him I had to go abinitio (get the case out of his court quick !).

      Why am I telling you this ? Boston is the most political city where the slightest political harm is never forgotten. John Connolly is a victim of that prevailing political wind—-they can’t get John but they certainly can make John’s friends feel like their spending 20 years in jail too !

  3. I hate to suggest this, Matt, but a decorated FBI agent serving such an unjust sentence might just be the perfect case to bring before the POTUS for pardoning consideration. If presented properly Spurs might swallow it right up to the sinker.

  4. Matt, I agree with your excellent analysis: the sheer sophistry of ignoring Salemme’s blatant perjury is an abomination.

    It gets worse. I will repost in part what I posted yesterday regarding that same U.S. Appeals Court’s sophistry on the other matter raised on appeal . . . the lack of proof of a continuing racketeering enterprise:

    The Abomination: When John Connolly appealed his Boston conviction on Racketeering-related charges, the Appeals Court used as “evidence’ of John being involved in a continuing racketeering “enterprise” both (1) actions for which John had been found not guilty (leaking information that led to the deaths of Callahan, Collucci and, Halloran) and (2) actions for which John had not been charged (allegations by Martorano and Weeks that John Connolly was receiving money.)

    John had been acquitted of Morris’s and Martarono’s allegations of receiving money and a ring. John was convicted of transmitting that case of wine with an envelope in it to Morris in the early 1980s and was convicted of telling Kevin Weeks in December 1994 that he heard an indictment was coming down. No other convictions linked the early 1980 act and the December 1994 act, so there was no continuing racketeering enterprise, as Connolly’s attorneys argued convincingly on appeal.

    With sheer sophistry the Appeals Court discarded the sacred principle “presumption of innocence.” “A bedrock principle of the American criminal justice system is that a defendant accused of a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This protection comes from the due process guarantees in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.”

    See U.S. v Connolly, decided August 14, 2003, (Judges Lipez, Portfilio, Howard.) Lipez begins section “2. Evidence” citing Kevin Weeks’ “allegations” (never proven) that John Connolly received money from the gangsters, then Lipez cites Martorano’s “allegations” (rejected by the jury) that John leaked information that lead to Callahan, Collucci and Halloran murders.

    Later, on Lipez “explains” that even though the jury found certain racketeering related charges against John Connolly were “unproven” the jury “could have” concluded or “might have” concluded Connolly nevertheless accepted money or leaked information. Mind-boggling!

    Imagine having a racketeering conviction upheld on what a jury “could have” or “might have” thought, rather than on what it actually decided. Imagine essentially finding John Connolly guilty of crimes he was never charged with, that is accepting money from Whitey and Flemmi. The Appeals Court ignored the fact that the Boston jury did not believe one word of Martorano. The Appeals Court ignored the principle of presumption of innocence.

    For you lawyers out there, read the sophistry for yourself. And pardon me if I spit on this sheer sophistry.


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