U.S. Supreme Court Reviewing False Statements by Federal Prosecutor Mark Bennett
How many times can a federal prosecutor lie in court filings before a court imposes sanctions? That's the question before the United States Supreme Court. Prior to Tony's first trial, Asst. U.S. Attorney Mark Bennett objected to the same lawyers representing Tony, other co-defendants and government witness Kathryn Clover at the same time, stating this was a "conflict of interest." The court sealed that filing and Tony only found out about the government's motion after his second trial. When Tony alleged his attorney's conflicts of interest negatively affected his representation, Bennett switched his position and claimed there was never any conflict. Bennett also falsely claimed the court held a "hearing" and obtained "conflict waivers." After the Clerk of Court confirmed in writing there was never any conflict inquiry or waivers, Tony asked the government to correct its earlier false statements. Bennett not only refused but continued making false statements to both the district court and court of appeals that conflict waivers were obtained.
Prosecutor Bennett also made false statements concerning the trial testimony of government witness Kathryn Clover. In Ms. Clover's case, Bennett said that Ms. Clover "lied at the trial" of Tony Viola. When Tony alleged Clover offered false testimony at his trial, Bennett switched positions and claimed Clover testified truthfully.
The Supreme Court is currently reviewing a Petition for Rehearing to consider what actions are appropriate when a federal prosecutor's intentional misrepresentations taint judicial proceedings. "This filing is a long shot," said Tony Viola. "However, we're trying to hold prosecutors accountable when they repeatedly lie." To view Mr. Bennett's false representations to the federal judiciary, please visit SupremeCourt.gov, Case # 17-9352.
Tony Viola is the only prisoner in America who proved his innocence at trial yet remains in jail