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Supreme Court won't hear Butler case

Plague researcher looking for scientific job in US or Europe

John Dudley Miller
The US Supreme Court refused on Monday (May 15) to review the case of former Texas Tech professor Thomas Butler, the plague researcher who was convicted in December 2003 of improperly shipping plague samples to Tanzania and defrauding his university in unrelated research.Butler was "definitely very disappointed," his wife Elisabeth told The Scientist yesterday. "I'm deeply depressed but I hope to get out of it," she said. Butler was unavailable for comment.Butler served 19 months of a two-year sentence, was released to a half-way house in November, and released for good in December. A federal appeals court upheld his conviction and sentence last October.Butler's attorney, George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley, told The Scientist yesterday that his client's chances with the Supreme Court had always been slim, because it reviews less than 1% of cases brought before it. Butler has been working since last December, but Elisabeth Butler...

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