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Alan Dershowitz

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  1. Alan Dershowitz

    Biggest mistake made by Broome County voters

    One of Broome County's best and most experienced prosecutors, of the last few decades, was working at the Broome DA's office when Steve Cornwell announced he wasn't seeking re-election. This gentleman had a record number of arson trial wins. Arsons are very difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. He ended up taking a job in a neighboring county, making a lot less money, because he refused to work for Korchak. That says it all.
  2. With the number of threats Marty made in chambers, ex parte communication with his favored attorneys, and getting so drunk he would buy drinks after trials or pleas, he should have been removed from the bench long before he retired. He’s an insecure bully who took out his personal issues on others, because he had a robe and a gavel. The court system is much better with Marty gone and Broome County is better off now that he’s moved to Pennsylvania.
  3. I thought Korchak was elected because of his experience? Experience, experience, experience, that’s all we heard during his campaign. Yet the DAs office can’t secure a Murder conviction for the murder of a child? Look at the prosecutors who handled the case. They look like they’re 12. That’s the experience we voted for? Why didn’t “Mr. Experience” Mike Korchak prosecute the case? This was the murder of a child. Not a speeding ticket trial.
  4. The TDP also funds many positions in the DA’s office. About 10? When those employees are laid off, they can go home and tell their families “Mike was too f*cking stupid to follow the law to keep running the program that makes millions of dollars, and funded my salary.”
  5. Korchak has no one to blame for this cluster fuck but himself. That copy of the indictment revealing the Grand Jury foreperson’s name came directly from the DA’s office. I guess protecting the identities of grand jurors is only an issue when Korchak is running for office.
  6. Alan Dershowitz

    POLL: What should Korchak do

    What should disgraced District Attorney Michael Korchak do?
  7. If this turns out that Korchak. Loughran and their staff are attacking defense attorneys, posting on BCVoice from the DA's office, using Broome County government's internet connection, these defense attorneys can request a special prosecutor in every case they handle, because of the DA's office bias against them. What would that cost Broome County taxpayers per year? $5,000,000? Korchak can have fun explaining that to taxpayers.
  8. Look what happened in Troy, NY. DA Mike Korchak's assistant DA Mark Loughran caught concealing evidence at his old job in Troy, NY. Leading to a child molester being freed from prison. This is the guy who is calling the shots now in Broome County? Many are now rethinking their support for Korchak as this new information comes to light. Think of the poor victim in this case. If Mark Loughran was half the prosecutor he pretends to be, he would not have to illegally withhold evidence. Sticky note helps free man from prison https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Retrial-of-17-year-old-sex-abuse-case-impacted-by-13636892.php Printed in the Albany Times Union March 10, 2019. (right after Mike Korchak announced his campaign for Broome DA) TROY — A file tagged with a handwritten sticky note reading "DO NOT DISCLOSE" led to freedom for a man who spent 13 years in prison. His attorney believes it also raises the question of whether prosecutors in Rensselaer County — whether by error or intention — held back a key piece of evidence from the defense. The file contained county child protective services (CPS) records for the alleged victim in a 2002 sexual abuse case filed against defendant Eulogio “Lewis” Cruz, who was convicted in 2004 and sentenced to 100 years behind bars. Last month, however, he pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor. The initial case and Cruz's appeals involved the administrations of four Rensselaer County district attorneys. After Mary Pat Donnelly took office in January, the file came to the attention of her chief assistant, Matthew Hauf, as he began to prepare to prosecute Cruz's third trial in Rensselaer County Court, where he faced 14 of the original 22 charges. Hauf handed off the CPS file to Cruz's defense attorney, Cheryl Coleman, a week before the trial was slated to begin. Coleman said she discovered it contained information that contradicted the testimony of the victim, who was 10 at the time, as well as dates she wrote on a scrap of paper and stuck in her diary to detail alleged episodes of abuse by Cruz. "Think of the effect that would have had," Coleman said. "He may never have gone to prison." In a Feb. 13 appearance before County Court Judge Debra Young, Hauf acknowledged that the file included materials that should have be given to Cruz's attorneys by prosecutors before his first trial. “Those issues caused legal impediments in attempting to move forward with this trial," Hauf told the judge. He added that he was dismayed by "the way that the file was handled by previous administrations, and the fact that that information was in our possession and was recently unearthed based on my review of the file.” As a result of the revelation, the district attorney's office struck a deal in which Cruz, who has steadfastly denied the charges brought against him, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child in return for a sentence of time served — the 13 years he had already spent in prison. Rensselaer County's CPS office routinely turns over its confidential records to the district attorney’s office and police agencies when a crime is under investigation, according to current and former county officials familiar with the office’s practice. Such records can contain materials that a defense attorney can use in an attempt to undercut or disprove witness testimony. Coleman said the CPS records indicated that on several days the victim claimed she was molested by Cruz, she was actually with her father. At the time, Cruz was engaged to the child’s mother. “The CPS records revealed the visitation schedule,” Coleman said. Before the CPS file emerged, Coleman and the district attorney's office had traded motions related to the victim’s diary, the scrap of paper that listed the four dates on which the alleged abuse occurred, and the victim’s mental health records. Former District Attorney Patricia DeAngelis, who held the office when Cruz was convicted, did not respond to requests for comment about the case. Cruz’s original defense attorney, Gaspar Castillo, also did not respond to requests to speak about the case. Castillo was disbarred in January 2018 following allegations he inappropriately took $57,000 from clients. A district attorney's failure to hand over potentially exculpatory evidence to the defense violates not only the defendant’s constitutional rights but also the prosecutor's oath of office, said Laurie Shanks, a criminal defense attorney and Albany Law School professor emerita. Such an act would be “completely outrageous ... a complete miscarriage of justice," said Shanks, who said an independent prosecutor should be appointed to investigate what happened in Cruz's case. DeAngelis, then a top assistant to District Attorney Ken Bruno, presented the evidence that in August 2002 convinced a Rensselaer County grand jury to indict Cruz on charges that he sexually abused the young girl from November 2001 through February 2002. Cruz, then 38, allegedly engaged in sex acts with the child at his Troy residence on Oakwood Avenue. Following his arrest in February 2002 by State Police, Cruz was freed on $50,000 bail. The grand jury indicted him on four counts of first-degree sodomy, 16 counts of first-degree sexual abuse and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Cruz's first trial ended with a hung jury. Before the second trial was slated to begin, DeAngelis' office and Castillo reached a plea deal in which Cruz would plead guilty to one count of sexual abuse to satisfy the entire 22-count indictment. In return, he was to be sentenced to time served and 10 years of probation. But Columbia County Court Judge Paul Czajka, who presided over the case, rejected the deal. Now Columbia County's district attorney, Czajka said he did not recall the details but would have rejected an agreed-upon deal reached by the defense and prosecution if it included a predetermined sentence. The second jury trial in 2004 resulted in Cruz being convicted on almost all the counts in the original indictment. Czajka sentenced Cruz to serve consecutive prison terms, which sent him away for a century. Former Assistant District Attorney Mark Loughran, who prosecuted the second trial, said he remembers the basic facts of the case. Loughran didn’t recall any CPS records playing a role. Asked if any such reports had been withheld by the prosecution, he said “God, no” and insisted he would have given them to the defense. Cruz appealed his conviction. In 2007, the state Appellate Division found there had been enough evidence to convict him, but knocked off eight counts as multiple charges and reduced his prison sentence to 28 years, saying the one imposed by Czajka was excessive. Cruz was nearly halfway through his reduced sentence when Young granted him a new trial, finding that his original attorneys had failed to object to the jury not being properly sworn in. Once again free on $50,000 bail, Cruz left the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora in 2017, returned to the Capital Region and hired Coleman. Hauf said he and Donnelly weighed several factors in reaching the decision to strike a new plea deal, including Cruz’s time in prison. They also considered the impact on the victim — now in her late 20s — of having to testify. She would, however, make a victim’s impact statement when Cruz was sentenced. They were also considering the wild card of the CPS file tagged with the sticky note. "Obviously, it was information that should be turned over," Hauf said. Coleman noted that Donnelly's predecessor, Joel Abelove, handled the preparation for Cruz's new trial before Hauf took up the case. Amid the many skirmishes over the diary and mental health records, the CPS file was never handed over. Abelove did not respond to the Times Union's requests for comment. “Abelove’s office controlled this case for a year and a half,” Coleman said. Before Judge Young two weeks ago, Cruz pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor without admitting that there was any sexual act involved. Young sentenced him to time served and imposed a five-year order of protection directing him to have no contact with the victim. He will not have to register with the state as a sex offender. Coleman said Cruz is moving on with his life and didn't want to speak to the Times Union about the case. Coleman said that while she is not representing Cruz in any civil lawsuit, she would provide lawyers' names for him to consider if he decides to do so. The victim, who is preparing to attend graduate school to become a social worker, was adamantly opposed to the deal. At Cruz's sentencing in mid-February, she called him a child molester. “I did not want to settle this case," she told the court. "I wanted to go to trial, and I was ready to fight with every ounce of my being."
  9. Alan Dershowitz

    DA Korchak can't act surprised or claim ignorance

    The Broome County District Attorney has staff members leaking information to this website over sexual harassment complaints and other alleged corruption within the office. And employees of the office emailing pictures to BCVoice of John Solak being accosted outside the office during last month’s BPD police reform protest. Based on that chaos, I don’t think anyone has to worry about a Korchak second term. His office is already out of control and he’s only in year two.
  10. Alan Dershowitz

    DA Korchak can't act surprised or claim ignorance

    Precisely. Korchak also wanted to throw in there how hard his staff is working, and it’s his job to keep his staff there, blah blah blah. He knows these raises are becoming a major issue for him. Did any other county departments give big raises during Covid?
  11. Alan Dershowitz

    DA Korchak can't act surprised or claim ignorance

    Many of the “concerns” expressed with Paul Battisti have turned out to be true of Korchak’s team. We will hear more of that soon.
  12. Alan Dershowitz

    DA Korchak can't act surprised or claim ignorance

    After Korchak was elected why would one female ADA quit and take a job in another DA office, where she has to commute over an hour (one way) for less money?