Article by FLN Staff.

”The question is, should this indictment have ever been brought? Which office do I go to get my reputation back? Who will reimburse my company for the economic jail it has been in for two and a half years?” These questions were asked by Reagan’s Secretary of Labor Raymond Donovan, who was acquitted of a crime, but not without life-altering damage done to his good name. Secretary Donovan’s ordeal lasted two to three years, but Joseph Tigano’s lasted ten years.

Joesph Tigano III was charged in 2008 with running a marijuana growing operation. Tigano languished in jail for nearly 7 years, before finally being convicted in 2015. His indictment was overturned by the 2nd Circuit of the US Court of Appeals just this week because of an “oppressive pre-trial incarceration time”. The prosecution was faulted by the court for delaying the trial three times with “competency hearings” as a means of coercing Mr. Tigano to plead out instead of going to trial; they did so as his lawyer continually asserted his Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial, as he passed testing all three times.

Reason pointed to a letter to Thomas Paine from Thomas Jefferson that said of the Sixth Amendment, “the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.” Yet in a blatant affront to the Sixth Amendment, federal prosecutors in New York detained Mr. Tigano for 6 years, 9 months, and 26 days without trial. Now we ask, where does Mr, Tigano go to get his reputation back, and what redress does he have against the men that violated his rights? He doesn’t because he is just more collateral damage in the Drug War that never ends.

Image Credit: By St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons