vol. 5/No 226, September 16, 2015
A Long Hot Summer for Prosecutors
It’s becoming common knowledge that New York State has established itself as the second leading state in wrongful convictions, costing state taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in wrongful conviction settlements, which does not even include the cost to counties to negotiate the settlements. Quite the distinction. And it’s not getting any better.
- This July the sister of Harlem native Shariff Wilson, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against New York City and NYPD detectives after her brother died this past January.Shariff lived in prison since he was 15 until he turned 37, when DNA evidence cleared him and Anthony Yarbough of a triple murder. Wilson weighed 400 pounds when he died, possibly the result of health conditions exacerbated by his long prison stay.
- In August Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun ruled John Giuca, who was sentenced to 25 years to life for the fatal shooting of a 19 year old in 2003, will get a new trial. Giuca’s defense maintains he did not get a fair trial because the prosecutor cut a deal with a jailhouse snitch for testimony against him. As a result of the judge’s decision homicide prosecutor Anna Sigga-Nicolazzi will likely testify to misconduct allegations.
- In September Samuel Martinez filed a lawsuit against Brooklyn prosecutor Michael Vecchione. Martinez was indicted in 2012 in a 2006 arson that killed four people. After the credibility of the informants fell apart the case was dropped. No arrest has yet been made, however Mr. Martinez’s reputation has been stained for life.
Wonder why prosecutors across the state are afraid of and trying to kill the establishment of a State Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct? Heaven knows, they might be held accountable, at times sanctioned or even punished.
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