A former Marion County deputy prosecutor‘s guilty plea to bribery could lead to a fresh look at his cases. Federal prosecutors say David Wyser took a campaign contribution as a “reward” for agreeing to the early release of a woman convicted in the murder-for-hire of her husband.
Indianapolis defense attorney Kathleen Sweeney suggests current prosecutor Terry Curry might be able to revisit Wyser plea deals on contract grounds. She notes fraud or corruption can be cause for voiding a private business deal, and a plea bargain is a contract between the defendant and the state.
Sweeney cautions there is no way to tell whether there is enough evidence to call any deals Wyser made into question. Even in the case which led to the bribery charge against Wyser, Sweeney says it‘s not clear whether defendant Paula Willoughby, knew about the maneuvering federal prosecutors say took place.
But Sweeney argues the legislature should repeal the requirement that prosecutors consent to sentence modifications. She says judges should be able to decide those motions on their own.
And she argues the larger concern raised by Wyser‘s case is whether other defendants deserved early release, but were denied the opportunity because they lacked connections.