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Thu December 13, 2012
Martha Coakley: 'I stand by our decision'
Attorney general Martha Coakley is sticking to her guns: She and her team are still deciding if they will pursue a retrial of former state treasurer Tim Cahill’s corruption case that ended in mistrial on Wednesday.
"I think we did the right thing bringing the case," Coakley said.
Coakley defended her team on Greater Boston Thursday night and said that bringing the case to trial was necessary in order “to fight a culture of corruption in Massachusetts.”
“The legislature was clear that if you have an unwarranted advantage and you use funds that you’re not supposed to use – that should be treated criminally,” Coakley said.
The jurors and ‘conspiracy’
Complimenting the jurors, she called their deliberations “thoughtful,” and speculated about their questions in the last few days of their deliberations.
“It appeared to us they were struggling with some of the law and some of the juror instructions, and what they had to find for a conspiracy,” said Coakley. “They acquitted Campbell, obviously, and I think they struggled with what was the level of evidence of level of proof or two people who were unindicted.”
The juror question Coakley referred to asked if an “alleged co-conspirator had to have knowledge that the intent and purpose of the agreement was to carry out an unlawful plan or to carry out a plan by unlawful means.”
Coakley acknowledged that some of the jurors might not have wanted to convict Cahill because they felt a conspiracy had not been proven. But she was quick to point out that this didn’t necessarily mean that the jury thought Cahill was innocent.
“There had to be two or more people involved in the concept to do an unlawful act, as Jeffrey Denner said,” Coakley acknowledged, referring to Cahill’s defense team's appearance Wednesday night on Greater Boston. “We had evidence that showed, we believed, at least four people had been engaged in plotting with the ad agency to take this money.”
To retry or not
When asked about whether or not the prosecution might try to strike a deal with Cahill’s defense team instead of retrying the case, Coakley said her team needed to review its options.
“We want to take into account, what are the purposes of this? To send a deterrent message both to an individual and to Massachusetts that we intend to enforce the anti-public corruption laws here,” Coakley said.
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