Sheldon Silver's corruption conviction overturned

14 July, 2017, 00:46 | Author: Colin Gill
  • Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver talks to reporters

In their appeal, attorneys for Silver, 73, argued that the U.S. Supreme Court had clarified the definition of official misconduct previous year when it vacated the conviction of former Republican Gov.

Since just about every conviction Silver was nailed for depended on whether he took an "official act", the Second Circuit suggested prosecutors needed to start over. "I think given the importance of the case, in the history of NY and the long litany of corruption that's been exposed in Albany its very important for the USA attorney to try this case again".

"We recognize that many would view the facts adduced at Silver's trial with distaste", the court wrote.

Lawyers for Silver had made the McDonnell ruling a key component of their appeal.

In Silver's almost month-long trial in 2015, the jury had been instructed by Manhattan District Court Judge Valarie Caproni that an official misconduct was "any action taken or to be taken under color of official authority".

In the McDonnell case, Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the Supreme Court in June 2016, set a clear definition of the term "official action" and how it can be used in corruption convictions.

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In a 54-page decision, the 2nd Circuit explained that that the trial court gave incorrect instructions to the jury as deliberations began during the 2015 prosecution.

"Although it will be delayed, we do not expect justice to be denied", he added. Acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim said Silver would be retried.

A federal jury convicted Silver two years ago of accepting $5 million in bribes, by virtue of his ceremonial job at a law firm specializing in recovering damages for asbestos-related illnesses and his dealings with a real estate developer reliant on state funds for its business.

"There's no question that the government presented evidence relating to Mr".

The case was prosecuted by former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was the scourge of corrupt state politicians before President Trump fired him for reasons that remain suspicious. Indeed, the court said the definition of "official act" that jurors received at the Silver trial was way too broad, since it encompassed "any action taken or to be taken under color of official authority". Menendez is accused of helping a Florida ophthalmologist with government business in exchange for campaign contributions and posh getaways.

Eliason said Menendez will not likely have the same success as McDonnell, though his attorneys have and will again raise the argument that he performed no official acts. He said the reversal reinforces voters" cynicism: "They think, "Of course you can get away with it'".

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