"Do not revive. Do not feed under any circumstances."
--Jeane Palfrey, April 25th, 2008.
Washington D.C.--This was forwarded to me by a source close to the case. Many thanks go to them. This is in anticipation of a motion of abatement filing by the federal prosecutor, Jeffrey A. Taylor and his group of Assistant U.S. Attorneys, but has been filed jointly by the defense with them.
When an individual is convicted of a federal crime and they die before sentencing, the record is officially wiped-clean, as in the case of the late Ken Lay of Enron who died in early-July of 2006. It's likely that the Palfrey family will have the assets of the deceased returned from forfeiture, but my source says that it's "complicated." I wish them victory, and recognize that this will be cold comfort after what has happened. My deepest condolences go out to them.
The abatement was filed on May 2nd, the day after Jeane committed suicide. The layout of the filing has been changed, the text has not. Today, it appears that the contents of her suicide notes are beginning to surface. It's hoped that the psychological weight of all of this haunts the Government's prosecutors for decades-to-come, my humble curse. Without being too prolix:
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
OF MOTION FOR ABATEMENT OF PROSECUTION
The United States of America, by and through its attorney, the United States Attorney for the
District of Columbia, in consultation with and with the concurrence of counsel for defendant, Preston Burton, herewith files this joint suggestion of death. The parties file this suggestion on information and belief that defendant, Deborah Jeane Palfrey, died on or about May 1, 2008. Once the certificate of death is received, the parties will jointly move to abate the prosecution.
A defendant’s death is a basis for abatement of all prosecution proceedings from their
inception. Durham v. United States, 401 U.S. 481, 483 (1971); United States v, Asset, 990 F.2d 208, 211 (5th Cir. 1992) (death of defendant before entry of judgment abates prosecution ab initio); United States v. Oberlin, 718 F.2d 894, 896 (9th Cir. 1983) (similar holding); cf. United States v. Pogue, 19 F.3d 663 (D.C. Cir. 1994) (death pending direct appeal abates prosecution); Howell v. United States, 445 A.2d 1371, 1373 (D.C. 1983) (quoting Howell).
In light of the apparent recent death of defendant and in anticipation of the resulting joint
motion for abatement of prosecution, the parties request that the Court stay the need for either party to file any pleadings that are coming due for a response in the interim. Furthermore, defense counsel requests that he be authorized to contact the defendant’s family and representatives of her Estate in[...]
[Page break]Case 1:07-cr-00046-JR Document 312 Filed 05/02/2008 Page 1 of 2
connection with matters related to the criminal and civil forfeiture proceedings before the Court. The United States does not object to defense counsel’s request.
JEFFREY A. TAYLOR
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
DC Bar No. 498610
Daniel P. Butler
DC Bar No. 417178
Catherine K. Connelly
Mass. Bar No. 649430
William R. Cowden
DC Bar No. 426401
Assistant United States Attorneys
555 4th Street, N.W.
(202) 353-9431, 616-3384
Washington, D.C. 20530
/ s /
Preston Burton, Esq., D.C. Bar No. 426378
ORRICK, HERRINGTON & SUTCLIFF, LLP
1152 15th St., NW
Washington, D.C. 20005