It’s High Time We Prosecute Rogue Prosecutors.
“One Who Would Enforce The Law Must Live By It”
We must no longer tolerate the unlawful and unconstitutional acts of rogue prosecutors, district attorneys, federal prosecutors, and special prosecutors, alike, who ply their profession as though they are above the Law, abovescrutiny, and accountability. William Pitt put it most succinctly, “Where law ends, tyranny begins.” It is no overstatement to suggest that the People of Westchester lived under a tyrannical regime for twelve years headed by District Attorney Jeanine Pirro, and, furthermore, that many in that regime, many of the key players, survive in the current DiFiore administration.
The mere fact that the chief law enforcement officer was the spouse of the most outrageous white-collar criminal in her jurisdiction speaks volumes regarding the level of news management, and election fraud needed to perpetuatethe power and the influence of that DA. Pace University Law Professor Bennett Gershman, speaking of Pirro on Cable television, recently declared, “she may be one of the worst prosecutors in the United States.” Of course, apologists, and others with some personal stake in the Pirro Myth, will say that every prosecutor has had their share of bad cases, hoping that the really egregious cases such as Jeffrey Deskovic, Anthony DiSimone, coming to light, and opening the eyes of reasonable people, will remain buried under a dozen years of self-promotional hype and media cooperative culpability.
However, one does not need a law degree to know that a prosecutor who saw fit, in a brutal murder case, to withhold more than 376 pages of Brady material (exculpatory information about the accused) and 52 boxes of exculpatory exhibits, was totally unfit to occupy the office of District Attorney. After all, One who would enforce the law must live by it.
Jeanine Pirro, elected DA in three fixed elections, lived her life, and ran the business of her Office, the Peoples’ business, as though she was above the Law. The withholding of a mountain of exculpatory evidence from Anthony DiSimone, as outrageous as it was, over a 13-year period, beyond her term in office, was by no means an exception, nor “a mere blip in an otherwise exemplary record,” as her apologists would have us believe. Quite the contrary. While it may ultimately come to be recognized as the high-water point of her prosecutorial misconduct, the handling of the Di-Simone case was totally consistent with “patterns and practices” repeatedly engaged in over the course of DA Pirro’s twelve year reign.
The kidnapping of Jing Kelly’s infant son, the intimidation and coercion of witnesses in the Richard DiGuglielmo case, the ‘tit-for-tat’ prosecution of Marci Stein, the malicious prosecution and conviction of Matthew McKerrick,the framing of Steven Nowicki for a crime that never happened, the use of a false confession in the Selwyn Days “double homicide” that was really a murder/suicide, despite the total lack of forensic evidence, and, in the Kareem Bryan so-called “Bedroom Bandit” case, are but a few of scores of confabulated, self-promotional cases in which assistant district attorneys, medical examiners, police officers, and expert witnesses, each of whom, for their own unethical, self-preserving reasons, joined conspiracies. Those conspiracies targeting innocent persons, prosecutions of opportunity, were knowingly and maliciously pursued, employing every prosecutorial misconductpossible in a cynical, depraved effort to win convictions, irrespective of the innocence or guilt of the accused, and with utter disregard for human life or dignity, much less any concern for judicial integrity.
The stain embedded in the fabric of the Westchester District Attorney’s Office by Jeanine Pirro remains today in the presence of far too many, once young and high-minded attorneys who were twisted and turned rogue, and left behind, in her destructive wake.
It is no longer sufficient to speak in generic terms about the atrocities that were ruthlessly and wantonly visited upon the DiSimones, the Nowickis, the DiGuglielmos. the McKerricks, the Days, Lee Holt, Jing Kelly and her son Tristram, and numerous other victims of Pirro’s tyrannical reign, not to mention Jeffrey Deskovic. All of them cry out for exposure and Justice. Indeed, the People of Westchester, in light of the horrific actions taken by assistant district attorneys, and others, inside, and outside of the Westchester DA’s Office, calculated to send Anthony DiSimone to prison for a murder committed, and confessed to by Nick Djonovic, can no longer trust, or rely upon the statements or intentions of that office.
As recently as two weeks ago Assistant DA Valerie Livingston stood before three judges of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the second-highest tribunal in our nation, and lied shamelessly totheir faces, much as she had lied to the Appellate Division, Second Department, of State Supreme Court for many years, with regard to Anthony Di-Simone, and countless other innocent defendants. Livingston lied withouthesitation, without conscience, much as ADA Laura Murphy lied to the jury in the Marci Stein case in 2001, when she told them that two teen-aged student/accusers “had no financial, or other motive in testifying against their teacher, Marci Stein,” when, in fact, the DA’s Office, and Laura Murphy, knew full well that the students had filed notice of claim in Federal Court, and would ultimately collect $220,000 for their efforts.
The same Laura Murphy had no qualms about demanding airfare from Jing Kelly to cover the cost of Gail Hiler’s flight to Canada to kidnap Jing’s infant son. Murphy had no problem over-charging Kelly with Felony CustodialInterference, a charge that was inappropriate by definition given the husband who had been a threat to their child’s safety and well-being.
ADA George Bolen, who hastily retired just days before Jeffrey Deskovic emerged from state prison, had no uneasiness telling a jury sixteen years earlier, that the reason 15-year-old Angela Correa’s lifeless body was found with DNA in her vagina, and hair follicles on her body that did not match 16-year old Jeffrey Deskovic’s was because, “she had consensual sex with someone else before she was raped and murdered.” Bolen was lucky that Mr. Correa, didn’t beat the living hell out of him for defaming his poor deceased daughter, in order to convict another youngster who he knew was innocent.
Of course the family of Pat Morrison, the next murder victim of Angela’s killer, Steven Cunningham, have their own reason to loathe Bolen’s despicable prosecutorial misconduct.
And, then there is the Richard DiGuglielmo case, where a metal bat wielding amateur boxer, who happened to be a Black man, had broken the hand of a middle-aged deli owner, severely injured his leg, and was swinging for his head, when he was felled by “three shots to center mass” fired by the victim’s son who happened to be a New York City Transit Police Officer, with twelve years on the job.
The killing was determined to be a “clean shoot,” a justifiable homicide, by NYPD investigators. It was a justifiable killing even if the shooter had not been a police officer, but merely a civilian, under the Statute of Self-defense,Defense of Others. However, as a police officer, it was Richard DiGuglielmo’s sworn duty to do precisely what he did. That is, in any other County of New York State, but Westchester, under Jeanine Pirro; and, especially, notwhen the perpetrator was Black and the shooter Italian-American.
Clement Patti, Patricia Murphy, and Perry Perrone would team up to give Jeanine Pirro the self-promotional prosecution and conviction only intimidation of witnesses, to recant and reword their statements, the withholdingof blood evidence and other forensic evidence, and the poisoning of the jury pool by ‘trial in the press’ for one year, could produce.
Then there was Selwyn Days, a severely brain damaged man accused of a ‘double homicide’ in the deaths in Eastchester of a wealthy 79-year-old widower and his live-in lover/housekeeper, an undocumented alien fromTrinidad and Tobago. There was a video-taped false confession, produced after 36 hours in handcuffs on a chair in the basement of Police Headquarters in Mount Vernon. Naturally, the secretly taped confession contained no administration of Miranda Warnings, and was filled with no fewer than 37 mistakes of fact directly contradicting the police accounts.
ADA Robert Prisco, Medical Examiner Luis Roh, Psychiatrist Angela Hegarty, and a whole host of other conspirators teamed up to convict Mr. Days, when, in fact, the incident was actually a murder/suicide in which thehousekeeper killed her employer in a fit of rage, and then killed herself.
Three Town of Eastchester Police Detectives, Barletta, Astorita, and Kiernan, plus a uniformed police officer, who was quickly made a detective, all responded to the crime scene, the house, and removed several hundred thousand dollars in cash and bearer bonds, that could not be spent until they could locate and convict a “patsy.”
At trial the police could not account for the cash and bearer bonds, that evidence in the trial established they were aware of, and knew the location of. The prosecution could not produce one trace of physical evidence link- ing Mr. Days to the crime scene, although the deaths of Archie Harris the elderly homeowner, and Betty Ramshiram, the Home Health Aide, were brutal and involved a great deal of blood and violence. Not one fingerprint, no body fluid, or DNA, not one hair follicle, or footprint; nothing to link Selwyn Days, or anyone else, other than the decedents to the crime scene. Furthermore, there was no evidence to suggest that the Defendant or any member of his family had come into any money since the incident four years earlier. Mr. Days was convicted, and sentenced to two consecutive 25-year to Life sentences, soley on the strength of a false confession.
It was also a false confession from the Conference Room at Mount Vernon Police Headquarters that sent Mrs. Pirro’s so-called “Bedroom Bandit” to prison for 43 years, despite the fact that the actual perpetrator who matched the description by one of the victims completely, from his hair to his underwear, was turned loose in a major blunder by the Mount Vernon Police. The attorney for the accused, Mayo Bartlett, at trial, would produce an official transcript of a police telephone communication clearly indicating that the actual perpetrator was turned loose, and that “a confession would have to be gotten out of Kareem Bryan,” but Judge Les Adler refused to let the jurors hear it.
The case was prosecuted by ADA Michelle Lopez the Office’s sex crimes specialist, accompanied by ADA Calvin Scholar, neither of whom appear to lose much sleep over knowingly prosecuting and convicting innocent individuals with false confessions. Each has a particular propensity for working around the Constitutional rights of accused individuals, especially regarding issues of identification. This case was no exception.
The above-referenced cases are but a few amongst scores of intentional, malicious prosecutions, by many tainted, misguided assistant DAs who long ago stopped looking for the Truth, or the opportunity to bring about Justice. No doubt the first time they knowingly and intentionally sent an innocent person away to prison it might have made them feel badly. But, as they did it over and over again to keep Jeanine Pirro happy, and to continue drawing their pay checks every other week, it simply became a game.
It’s no game! What George Bolen did to Jeffrey Deskovic, what Clem Patti and Steven Bender did to Anthony DiSimone, what Clem Patti, Patricia Murphy, and Perry Perrone did to Richard Di Guglielmo, what Laura Murphy did to Jing and Tristram Kelly and to Marci Stein, and what Michelle Lopez and Calvin Scholar did to Kareem Bryan were all nothing short of criminal. Such mindless, malicious acts, calculated to deprive innocent persons of their liberty, are crimes against humanity, and must be prosecuted as such.
The time has come when we must enact legislation making it a crime for prosecutors to knowingly withhold Brady material, or alter evidence, or suborn perjury, or coerce false testimony, or false confessions, or tamper with evidence, or fail to give, and adhere to Miranda Rights. We must enact legislation that will provide for stiff prison sentences, as well as substantial financial penalties for prosecutorial misconduct.
The Westchester Guardian intends to contact every member of the New York State Assembly and Senate with regard to such legislation over the next several weeks, as well as Governor Spitzer, and Attorney GeneralCuomo, to discover their positions and to discuss ways of expediting passage of such necessary legislation. Professor Gershman, author of Prosecutorial Misconduct, is known to have long ago suggested such legislationand is currently studying, and writing on the matter.