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Report: Hyde Amendment not enforced

WASHINGTON, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- A law intended to deter misconduct by U.S. prosecutors and compensate innocent victims hasn't been doing what it's supposed to do, an investigation revealed.

USA Today uncovered 201 cases since the Hyde Amendment was passed in 1997 in which federal judges found Justice Department prosecutors violated laws or ethics rules.

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In an article published Tuesday, the newspaper said it was able to find only 13 instances where the government reimbursed innocent defendants for their legal bills.

The law requires the Justice Department to repay the legal bills of defendants who win their cases and prove that federal prosecutors committed misconduct or other transgressions.

One case involved an Army officer cleared by the Army of accusations he conspired to steal military supplies.

Justice Department lawyers prosecuted him anyway and lost the case.

Fighting the charges cost the man his life savings and he never received compensation from the government, USA Today said.

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