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Maybe not proof certain, but still pretty compelling evidence of GOP partisan-motivated bad faith prosecution, by a U.S. Attorney, of a Democrat at election time. And with a judge in cahoots.Jason Stein for the Wisconsin State Journal reports: In a stunning reversal, a federal court of appeals struck down a state worker's fraud conviction that Wisconsin Republicans used in efforts to paint Gov. Jim Doyle's administration as corrupt.Attorneys on both sides of the case said the three-judge panel likely overruled the trial jury's conviction of former state purchasing officer Georgia Thompson within hours of oral arguments due to a simple lack of evidence.
During oral arguments Thursday, one of the members the three-judge panel said the charges against Thompson were unfounded."I have to say it strikes me that your evidence is beyond thin," federal Appeals Judge Diane Wood told prosecutors. "I'm not sure what your actual theory in this case is." Xoff at Uppity Wisconsin provides analysis: This was a total, humiliating embarrassment for Milwaukee-based US Attorney Steven Biskupic. The poor assistant US attorney who was tasked with appearing to argue the government's case, Greg Haanstad, (where was Biskupic?) was like a lamb led to slaughter. The three-judge panel eviscerated the government's case against Thompson.The fact that the was issued within hours after oral arguments is almost unheard of. It's like a jury returning a verdict in 5 minutes. Almost no deliberation was needed.The order set Thompson free immediately. She has served four months in a federal prison, because the Republican-appointed prosecutor and Republican-appointed federal judge would not agree to let her remain free while the case was appealed. Too great a threat to society, apparently (unlike Scott Jensen, who's still at large after three felony convictions.) Gretchen Schuldt at Milwaukee Rising questions the motives of US District Judge Rudolph Randa, in whose court Thompson was initially convicted. The decision also raises a number of interesting questions about US District Judge Rudolph Randa, a really, really conservative guy who has served on the advisory board of the local chapter of the ultra conservative Federalist Society. Randa usually handles white collar criminals rather gently, but he packed Thompson off to prison immediately and refused to let her remain free pending her appeal. In his decision denying her post-conviction bail, Randa said Thompson had no real reason to expect her conviction to be reversed.