Deskovic speaks out against Sotomayor

Great SCOTUS-related story from my colleague Jonathan Bandler in today’s Journal News.

Sonia Sotomayor, the federal appeals judge now nominated for the U.S. Supreme Court, is getting criticized for upholding the conviction now-exonerated prisoner Jeffrey Deskovic.

Deskovic spent nearly 16 years in prison for a Peekskill murder he did not commit.

In April 2000, Sotomayor and a colleague on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Deskovic’s appeal because his lawyer submitted the paperwork four days late in 1997. Deskovic was finally exonerated in 2006 of the 1989 murder of  15-year-old Angela Correa, after DNA tests matched inmate Stephen Cunningham, who confessed to the crime.

“She put procedure over justice,” Deskovic said. “We’re talking about a man’s life.”

Click here to read the full story on LoHud.com.

Wrongful conviction panel

My colleague Noreen O’Donnell sent this to me today, and I thought you might like to know about it, especially if you’ve followed the Jeffrey Deskovic saga in The Journal News and on LoHud.com:


NYSBA News Advisory

                        Friday, February 13, 2009 – 9:30 a.m.

NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION HOLDS HEARING TO EXPLORE WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS


On Friday, February 13th at 9:30am, the New York State Bar Association will hold a hearing to explore the findings of a new report issued by its Wrongful Conviction Task Force, chaired by the Honorable Barry Kamins. The report studied dozens of cases from around New York State in which defendants were convicted and later exonerated.  It found that misidentification by witnesses and government practices were the two leading causes of wrongful convictions.  The hearing will also explore recommended changes to policy, procedure and legislation that would help prevent these miscarriages of justice.  The hearing is being held at the New York City Bar headquarters (42 W. 44th Street).
 
Among those expected to testify are: Daniel M. Donovan, Jr., president, New York State District Attorneys Association; Richard A. Brown, District Attorney, Queens County; Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld of The Innocence Project; Morris Zedeck, Ph.D.; among others.
 
Testimony will also be heard from three exonorees:
 
·        Jeff Deskovic (Westchester County) – Exonerated of murder and rape after serving 16 years in prison.
·        Scott Fappiano (Brooklyn) – Exonerated of rape, sodomy, burglary after serving 21 years in prison.
·
       Al Newton (Bronx) – Exonerated of rape, robbery, and assault charges after serving 21 years in prison.  

The full report can be found at: http://www.nysba.org/wrongfulconvictions


WHAT:          Three men – wrongly convicted, who spent a total of 58 years in prison – will testify at a hearing held by the New York State Bar Association Wrongful Conviction Task Force.  The hearing will explore the findings and recommendations of a new report issued by the Task Force which concluded that misidentification by witnesses and government practices were the two leading causes of wrongful convictions. Also expected to testify are law enforcement officials, representatives from the Innocence Project, forensic experts and others.

WHEN:          Friday, February 13, 2009 — 9:30 a.m.

WHERE:        The Association of the Bar of the City of New York
42 West 44th Street  – between 5th Avenue & Avenue of the Americas
                      
CONTACT:    Josh Salter – (212) 575-4545; Day of: (914) 629-0444
Linden Alschuler & Kaplan, PR

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The 76,000-member New York State Bar Association is the official statewide organization of lawyers in New York and the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation.  Founded in 1876, NYSBA programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system for more than 130 years. www.nysba.org <http://www.nysba.org/

___________________
Joshua Salter
Linden Alschuler & Kaplan Public Relations
1251 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 940
New York, New York 10020
212.329.1425 (direct line)
212.575.4545 (main phone)
212.575.0519 (fax)
jsalter@lakpr.com