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How the Supreme Court Has Reined in Federal Prosecutors

July 17, 2017

Law.com
By Marcia Coyle

Federal prosecutors have taken it on the chin in recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions that pushed back against the government’s expansive reading of federal criminal laws. The latest setback came Thursday, when a federal appeals court voided the corruption conviction of a once-powerful New York state Assembly speaker.

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“Regardless of what happens with Sheldon Silver upon retrial, the Second Circuit’s opinion, on top of the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in McDonnell, nonetheless sends perhaps more than just a cautionary tale to prosecutors about overreaching in political corruption cases,” Lathrop Nelson III of Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads wrote on his white-collar blog. “There indeed is a line between what is an improper quid pro quo and acts that constitute constituent services that we expect our elected officials to perform.”

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