The legal justification is that the prosecution withheld certain evidence from the defense. And there were indeed some shenanigans. At one point the judge held the prosecution in contempt for failing to produce relevant materials when ordered to do so. At another point, Justice "replaced the trial team, including top-ranking officials in the Public Integrity Section, which is charged with prosecuting public corruption cases," according to the report.
Way to go guys. Thanks for letting another criminal politician walk. I can't say it's all that surprising.
But buried halfway down in the article is this little gem.
"[Attorney General Eric Holder's] decision is said to be based on Stevens' age -- he's 85 -- and the fact that Stevens is no longer in the Senate."
Wow. So which is it? Did the prosecution irretrievably screw up the case? Or is he too old, and losing his Senate seat is enough punishment?
Granted, nobody wants to see an 85 year old locked up. But when normal people are convicted of seven felonies, they go to prison--or at least a judge determines another sentence.
The worst part is that Stevens himself is spinning the decision as complete vindication, saying:
"I always knew that there would be a day when the cloud that surrounded me would be removed. That day has finally come."
Let me be the one to say to Stevens: Nope, that day has not come. Just because Eric Holder thinks that losing your election was enough punishment, we will not forget the $250,000 you secretly accepted from oil companies for political favors. There will be a cloud surrounding you until you -- a millionaire politician -- pay for your crimes like any normal person.