A story of injustice

bilde-1Ardsley High School students got a life lesson today when a man who spent 18 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit spoke to them and shared his long, long road to exoneration.

Fernando Bermudez was given a 23-years-to-life sentence for a 1991 shooting death in Manhattan. Bermudez said he was hanging out with friends that night and was nowhere near the scene. It wasn’t until a team of lawyers, including Mary Ann Di Bari of Pound Ridge, discovered a series of errors in the case that successfully exonerated him.

Click here to read the story by Journal News/LoHud.com reporter Dwight Worley.

Changes in the Westchester Co. courthouse

There’s a new criminal judge in Westchester: acting state Supreme Court Justice Robert K. Holdman, who was transferred two weeks ago from the Bronx and will be here in the suburbs for a while. He’s on the first floor, a short walk to Ray’s candy stand down the hall. We here at Completely Legal wish Judge Holdman well in his new assignment.

Another change in the courthouse: the photo essay on the making of “The Rising,” Westchester’s stunning memorial to the county’s Sept. 11 victims, is gone. The photo array spanned the entire wall on the first floor, near the jury room, and told the story of how The Rising came to be, from original illustrations to construction. I wonder if it was taken down because it prominently featured former County Executive Andy Spano, who was voted out of office in November. I’ll let you know if and when I find the answers.

Lippe jury selection to start April 12

werner lippeWell, that was fast.

Accused wife incinerator Werner Lippe goes on trial again before Westchester County Court Judge Barbara Zambelli in mid-April, less that two months after a deadlocked jury caused a mistrial in the prosecution’s first attempt at a conviction. Click here to read the story.

The first trial got a LOT of press, so jury selection may be tougher this time around. I’m planning to pop in to see what questions they’re asking to get jurors that could be favorable to their side. Opening statements will be interesting as well, seeing if either sides change their strategy.