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ABA president calls for judicial independence after lower Stone sentence announced

American Bar Association president Judy Perry Martinez called for preserving the integrity of the justice system one day after the Justice Department announced it would seek a lower sentence for Roger Stone, a former campaign adviser to President Donald Trump.

Martinez’s statement, released on Wednesday, reads:

“The American Bar Association steadfastly supports judicial independence and the sound exercise of prosecutorial discretion. Public officials who personally attack judges or prosecutors can create a perception that the system is serving a political or other purpose rather than the fair administration of justice. It is incumbent upon public officials and members of the legal profession, whose sworn duty it is to uphold the law, to do everything in their power to preserve the integrity of the justice system.”

Martinez did not provide any additional information or context, but the statement came just a day after the four lawyers who had prosecuted Stone quit the case. The Justice Department overruled them on Tuesday and said it would lower the amount of time it would seek for Stone, a long-time Trump ally and confidant.

Earlier in the day, Trump had called the prosecutors’ original sentencing recommendation of seven to nine years in prison “very horrible and unfair” in a tweet. The department insisted the decision to reduce the sentence was made before the tweet.

Stone was convicted of lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstructing the House investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to tip the 2016 election.

About Michaela Paukner, [email protected]

Michaela Paukner is the legal reporter for the Wisconsin Law Journal. She can be reached at (414) 225-1825 or by email at [email protected]

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