Federal Prosecutor John Durham and American Justice. 8 of 10

John Durham and the Plight of John Connolly

By the way, Connolly would be tried in Florida based on the testimony of Martorano, Flemmi and Weeks and be convicted of murder by gun. Wyshak at that time was the lead prosecutor.

He was not originally charged with murder by gun. He was charged with first degree murder and conspiracy to murder of which he was acquitted. His lawyer erred in not filing a motion after the verdict within the proper time. Had he done it, the conviction would not have stood.

An unnerving part of the trial itself was when Wyshak had Flemmi on the stand. Flemmi who had murdered his stepdaughter and girlfriend among many others was giving testimony about the murder of Brian Halloran. Whitey Bulger, Flemmi’s partner called Halloran “balloon head.” Wyshak and Flemmi found it somewhat humorous smiling together when taking about the murder as if they had joked about it previously. It was frightening to see how close the prosecutor had come to this vile man as we saw with Durham and Mafia king Salemme.

Connolly was sentenced to 40 years in prison which began after his federal sentence. In effect, he was given the death penalty while the three men who were confessed murderers were let back on the street. Connolly will first come up for parole when he is 99 years old. The likelihood he will still be alive is slim.

The tragedy of his case is he was wrongly convicted. The appeals court to uphold his conviction twisted the Florida law into a shape beyond all recognition. The appeals court’s decision stated in effect that if a person plans with his friend who is having trouble with his wife to poison her; and during the planning he wears a gun; and a week later shows up at his friend’s house without the gun and drops the poison into the wife’s drink, he can be convicted of murder by gun.It’s absurd, I know. Yet that is what the appeals court had to decide to uphold Connolly’s conviction. It needed the “gun” to be involved to solve a legal problem which would have set Connolly free.

When the judges are out to get you, then you can be sure they will. As I’ve written a hundred times the law is what the judges say it is. Yet no one seems bothered that a guy who did what the FBI required him to do will die in prison for testimony of murderers who were given enormously pleasing deals to nail the agent, even if one of two of them committed perjury during the trials. Least of all does Durham or Wyshak care about this.

Unfortunately for Connolly the courts have all closed their eyes to his valid arguments. But what about the prosecutors? What about Durham and Wyshak? Didn’t Wyshak say as he’s holding back tears in respect to Salemme: “This man is ruthless, barbaric. . . . It grieves me that it’s taken this long to put him away for the rest of his life, because he richly deserves that.”

Is it all right with him and Durham that such a man as Salemme lied in court about an FBI agent and put the agent away for his life? What kind of ethics do they have to believe that they should have opposed Connolly’s motion for a new trial when they knew the man who had provided critical evidence for Connolly’s conviction richly deserves to be locked up for life.

Reading the asthenic reasoning in these cases it almost seems someone has been operating behind the scenes in Boston and Florida to ensure that Connolly never sees the light of day on the outside of prison? Is it the Department of Justice or the FBI? Do either Durham or Wyshak shed tears that Connolly a man with three children who never was at a murder scene, never came close to a murder, and was wrongly convicted has spent almost 20 years in prison and will die there.

3 replies on “Federal Prosecutor John Durham and American Justice. 8 of 10”

  1. FBI agents decide who gets elected.


    Privacy Died Long Ago

    U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart of Cincinnati swears in George H. W. Bush as director of the CIA as President Gerald Ford watches. REUTERS/George Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

    The great forgotten Cincinnati wiretap scandal

    By Gregory Flannery

    Americans no longer assume their communications are free from government spying. Many believe widespread monitoring is a recent change, a response to terrorism. They are wrong. Fair warning came in 1988 in Cincinnati, Ohio, when evidence showed that wiretapping was already both common and easy.

    Twenty-five years ago state and federal courtrooms in Cincinnati were abuzz with allegations of illegal wiretaps on federal judges, members of Cincinnati City Council, local congressional representatives, political dissidents and business leaders.

    Two federal judges in Cincinnati told 60 Minutes they believed there was strong evidence that they had been wiretapped. Retired Cincinnati Police officers, including a former chief, admitted to illegal wiretapping.

    Even some of the most outrageous claims – for example, that the president of the United States was wiretapped while staying in a Cincinnati hotel – were supported by independent witnesses.

    National media coverage of the lawsuits, grand jury hearings and investigations by city council and the FBI attracted the attention of U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) and the late U.S. Sen. Paul Simon (D-Ill.).

    As Americans wonder about the extent to which their e-mails, cell-phones and text messages are being monitored, they would do well to look back at a time before any of those existed. Judging by what was revealed in Cincinnati, privacy died long before anyone had ever heard of Osama bin Laden or al Q’aeda.


    In 1988 Leonard Gates, a former installer for Cincinnati Bell, told the Mount Washington Press, a small independent weekly, that he had performed illegal wiretaps for the Cincinnati Police Department, the FBI and the phone company itself.

    A week after the paper published his allegations, a federal grand jury began hearing testimony.

    Gates claimed to have performed an estimated 1,200 wiretaps, which he believed illegal. His list of targets included former Mayor Jerry Springer, the late tycoon Carl Lindner Jr., U.S. District Judge Carl Rubin, U.S. Magistrate J. Vincent Aug, the late U.S. Sen. Howard Metzenbaum (D-Ohio), the Students for a Democratic Society (an anti-war group during the Vietnam War), then-U.S. Rep. Tom Luken (D-Cincinnati) and then-President Gerald Ford.

    A second former Cincinnati Bell installer, Robert Draise, joined Gates, saying he, too had performed illegal wiretaps for the police. His alleged targets included the Black Muslim mosque in Finneytown and the General Electric plant in Evendale. Draise’s portfolio was much smaller than Gates’s, an estimated 100 taps, because he was caught freelancing – performing an illegal wiretap for a friend.

    Charged by the FBI, Draise claimed he had gone to his “controller” at Cincinnati Bell, the person who directed his wiretaps, and asked for help. If he didn’t get it, he said, he’d tell all. When the case went to federal court, Draise didn’t bother to hire an attorney. He didn’t need one. In a plea deal, federal prosecutors dropped the charge to a misdemeanor. Found guilty of illegal wiretapping, his sentence was a $200 fine. The judge? Magistrate J. Vincent Aug.

    If Gates and Draise had been the only people to come forward, they could easily be dismissed as cranks – disgruntled former employees, as Cincinnati Bell claimed. But some police office officers named by Gates and Draise confirmed parts of their allegations, insisting, however, that there were only 12 illegal wiretaps. Other officers not known to Gates and Draise also admitted to illegal wiretaps. Some of the officers received immunity from prosecution in exchange for their testimony. Others invoked their Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate themselves.

    “Due to the turbulent nature of the late ’60s and early ’70s, wiretaps were conducted to gather information,” said a press release signed by six retired officers. “This use began in approximately 1968 and ended completely during the Watergate investigation.”

    The press release, whose signers included former Police Chief Myron Leistler, listed 12 wiretaps, among them “a black militant in the Bond Hill area” and a house on either Ravine or Strait streets rented by “the SDS or some other radical group.”

    The retired cops’ lawyer said there were actually three Cincinnati Bell installers doing illegal wiretaps, but declined to identify the third.

    The retired officers denied knowledge of “any wiretaps involving judges, local politicians, prominent citizens and fellow law enforcement officers or city employees.”

    Getting rid of Aug

    Others had that knowledge, however.

    Howard Lucas, former security chief at the Stouffer Hotel downtown, said he caught Gates and three cops trying to break into a telephone switching room shortly before President Gerald Ford stayed at the hotel.

    “I said, ‘Do you have a court order?’ and they all laughed,” Lucas told the Mount Washington Press.

    The four men left. But they returned.

    “A couple days later, in the back of the room, I found a setup, a reel-to-reel recorder concealed under some boxes,” Lucas said.

    Ford stayed at the Stouffer Hotel in July 1975 and June 1976 – two years after the Watergate scandal, when Cincinnati Police officers claimed the bugging ended.

    Then there was the matter of a former guard at the U.S. Courthouse downtown. He said he had found wiretap equipment there in 1986 and 1987, just a year before the wiretap scandal broke.

    “I heard conversations you wouldn’t believe,” he said. “I heard a conversation one time. they were talking about getting rid of U.S. Magistrate Aug.”

    The wiretapping started with drug dealers and expanded to political and business figures, according to Gates. In 1979, he testified, he was ordered to wiretap the Hamilton County Regional Computer Center, which handled vote tabulations. His handler at the phone company allegedly told Gates the wiretap was intended to manipulate election results.

    “They had the ability to actually alter what was being done with the votes. … He was very upset through some of the elections with a gentleman named Blackwell,” Gates testified.

    J. Kenneth Blackwell is a former member of Cincinnati Council, and 1979 was an election year for council.

    Something went wrong on Election Night, Gates testified. His handler at the phone company called him.

    “He was panicking,” Gates testified. “He said we had done something to screw up the voting processor down there, or the voting computer.”

    News reports at the time noted an unexpected delay in counting votes for city council because of a computer malfunction.

    Cincinnati Bell denied any involvement in illegal wiretapping by police or its own personnel. Yet police officers, like Gates, testified the police received equipment – even a truck – and information necessary to effectuate the wiretaps. The owners of a greenhouse in Westwood even came forward, saying the police stored the Cincinnati Bell truck on their property.

    ‘Say it louder’

    Gates claimed that his handler at Cincinnati Bell repeatedly told him the wiretaps were at the behest of the FBI. He named an FBI agent who, he said, let him into the federal courthouse to wiretap federal judges.

    Investigations followed – a federal grand jury, which indicted no one; a special investigator hired by city council, the former head of the Cincinnati FBI office; the U.S. Justice Department, sort of.

    U.S. Sen. Paul Simon asked then-Attorney General Richard Thornburgh to look into the Cincinnati wiretap scandal. Federal judges, members of Congress and even the president of the United States had allegedly been wiretapped. Simon’s effort went nowhere. His press secretary told the Mount Washington Press that it took three months for the Attorney General to respond.

    “The senator’s not pleased with the response,” Simon’s press secretary said. “It didn’t have the attorney general’s personal attention, and it said Justice (Department) was aware of the situation, but isn’t going to do anything.”

    The city of Cincinnati settled a class-action lawsuit accusing it of illegal wiretapping, paying $85,000 to 17 defendants. It paid $12,000 to settle a second lawsuit by former staffers of The Independent Eye, an underground newspaper allegedly wiretapped and torched by Cincinnati Police officers in 1970.

    Cincinnati Bell sued Leonard Gates and Robert Draise, accusing them of defamation. The two men had no attorneys and represented themselves at trial. Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Fred Cartolano refused to let the jury hear testimony by former police officers who had admitted using Gates and Draise and Cincinnati Bell equipment. In a 4-2 vote, the jury ruled in the phone company’s favor, officially adjudging the two whistleblowers liars.

    During one of the many hearings associated with the wiretap scandal, an FBI agent was asked what the agency would do if someone accused the phone company of placing illegal wiretaps. He testified the FBI would be powerless; it needed the phone company to check for a wiretap.

    “It would go back to Bell,” the agent testified. “We would have no way of determining if there was any illegal wiretapping going on.”

    The FBI agent was the person Gates had accused of opening the federal courthouse at night so he could wiretap federal judges.

    One police sergeant offered no excuses for the illegal wiretapping. Asked why he didn’t bother with the legal niceties, such as getting a warrant, as required then by federal law, he said, “I didn’t deem it was necessary. We wanted the information, and went out and got it.”

    At one point, covering the scandal for the Mount Washington Press, I received a phone call from a sergeant in the Cincinnati Police Department. He invited me to the station at Mount Airy Forest, where he proceeded to wiretap a fellow police officer’s phone call. I listened as the other officer talked to his wife.

    “Say hello,” the sergeant told me.

    I did. There was no response.

    “Say it louder,” the sergeant said.

    I did. No response.

    “You can hear them, but they can’t hear you,” the sergeant said. “Any idiot can do a wiretap. You know that’s true because you just saw a policeman do it.”

    Privacy is dead. Its corpse has long been moldering in the grave.

    In other news….


    Are some cops hooked on violence?

    AUG 11, 2020 AT 5:00 AM


    Leaked documents detail law enforcement trainings in lie detection techniques that have been discredited by scientists.
    Jordan Smith
    August 12 2020, 8:40 a.m.


    Family Of Woman Whose Corpse Was Allegedly Molested By LAPD Officer Sues City, Officer
    By CBSLA Staff
    August 11, 2020 at 5:41 pm
    Filed Under:Alleged Corpse Fondling, David Rojas, Elizabeth Baggett, Gloria Allred, KCAL 9, LAPD, Los Angeles Police Department

  2. Matt

    Never thought I would be proofreading another
    Gotcha Journalism book that offers no solutions
    to the problems it complains about.

    In other news for your grandchildren….


    The Global Thaw is Releasing Ancient Viruses and Bacteria

    There are diseases hidden in ice, and they are waking up
    Long-dormant bacteria and viruses, trapped in ice and permafrost for centuries, are reviving as Earth’s climate warms
    BBC.com, May 4, 2017


    Eighteen of the 19 hottest years on record from 2001 to 2018
    Earth just experienced one of the warmest years on record
    2001-2018: 18 of the 19 hottes years on record
    CNN.com, Feb. 6, 2019


    New Death Bed UFO Testimony from High Level Canadian Official

  3. The depth of corruption sickens: Federal Prosecutor Wyshak got in bed with serial killers (Martorano, Salemme, Flemmi), with an attempted murderer (Morris) with an accessory to murders (Weeks) and offered them obscenely lenient deals for their testimony, which the Boston jury largely rejected. Flemmi did not testify in Boston, but Weeks testified what Flemmi allegedly said.
    After John Connolly was acquitted (not guilty) of all murder related charges, Wyshak dragged the same gang of perjurious serial killers and murderers to Miami in a double jeopardy defying trial, where Wyshak, the FED, got himself appointed as lead State Prosecutor and staged behind him in that Miami courtroom five Massachusetts State Cops.
    The Miami jury acquitted Connolly of the original charges, but somehow convicted him of the late added, murder by gun, count, even though Connolly was 1,600 miles away on Martha’s Vineyard when Callahan was murdered and Florida precedent required you to have the gun in your possession or within reach when the murder was committed.

    It is false to say the law is what the judges say it is. The law is written in the Constitution, in Statutes, in Regulations. Judges oftentimes err in their interpretation of the law: “separate but equal” was an incorrect interpretation of Constitutional Law. Judges oftentimes misapply precedents, case law.

    Judges are not sacred cows; they are human beings, who oftentimes err, and oftentimes err egregiously. See the St. Patrick’s Day Parade cases.

    Judges do not write laws. Congress and State Legislators do.

    The decision upholding John Connolly’s conviction in Miami was described by the dissent as “sheer sophistry.” The majority opinion was a grotesque perversion of law and reason.

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