Unabomber suspect Theodore Kaczynski today failed to win speeded-up Supreme Court consideration of his attempt to avoid prosecution because of news leaks.
The court will decide later whether to give Kaczynski a new chance to argue in a lower court that news leaks have so poisoned public opinion that it would be impossible to find an impartial grand jury."The government's conduct has made the word `Unabomber' and the name Theodore Kaczynski interchangeable," his appeal contended.
Kaczynski was arrested April 3 and charged with possessing bomb components.
A 12-day search of his tiny shack near Lincoln, Mont., turned up what sources said is evidence linking him to the Unabomber's 18-year spree of bombings, which killed three people and injured 23. He has not been charged in any of those attacks.
A federal judge in Montana on April 19 refused to throw out the bomb-possession charge or ban any government prosecution of Kaczynski because of a leaks about the case by unnamed government officials.
U.S. District Judge Charles Lovell called the news leaks "entirely regrettable" but said he saw no evidence they are part of an intentional effort to prejudice the public against Kaczynski.
The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed Kaczynski's appeal on April 24. The appeals court said that, except in rare situations, it lacks jurisdiction over an appeal by someone not yet indicted by a federal grand jury.
Kaczynski's appeal to the high court said he "was entitled to prove through the presentation of evidence that the government's outrageous conduct denied fundamental constitutional rights."
His lawyer said government officials "insisted on providing up-to-the-minute information to the national media concerning the incriminating quality of the evidence being taken from (Kaczynski's) cabin, to prove to the public that the legendary `Unabomber' case had been solved."
"The government's decision to vilify him in the national media with incriminating evidence, before charging him with any `Unabomber' crime, worked to forfeit the government's right to prosecute (Kaczynski) for such crimes," the appeal said.
Justice Department lawyers did not respond to Kaczynski's appeal.
The case is Kaczynski vs. U.S., 95-8785.