A Georgia federal judge has slammed federal prosecutors for making "sweetheart plea deals" with drug dealers to further their "relentless pursuit" of a criminal defense attorney whose trial ended last month when a jury acquitted him of drug conspiracy, attempted bribery and money laundering charges. The judge issued his harsh criticism of the U.S. Attorneys' Offices in an unusual order explaining why he more than doubled the recommended prison sentence of a federal witness who testified against lawyer J. Mark Shelnutt.
Judge Blasts U.S. Attorneys' Pursuit of High-Profile Defense Lawyer
December 21, 2009