February 21, 2018

Appeals Court Overturns Sheldon Silver's Conviction on Corruption Charges

14 July 2017, 12:47 | Rex Hubbard

Breaking: Appeals Court Overturns Sheldon Silver's Conviction on Corruption Charges

Conviction of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver overturned

Sheldon Silver, 73, was sentenced to 12 years in May 2016 after more than 20 years as Assembly speaker.

What the court pointedly did not say, however, is that Silver didn't do the things that the evidence clearly proved.

Silver, a Democrat who represented the Lower East Side in the assembly for almost four decades, had been convicted on seven counts of bribery and corruption last May. Federal prosecutors could decide to retry the case.

"We recognize that many would view the facts adduced at Silver's trial with distaste", Judge José A. Cabranes wrote for a unanimous three-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit. According to prosecutors, Silver, a lawyer, persuaded a doctor to pass on "valuable leads to unrepresented patients with mesothelioma", and in return, routed grants to the doctor for research and gave other help.

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".

When the Supreme Court spared Bob McDonnell from going to prison for a very long time, Chief Justice John Roberts seemed a little troubled by the things prosecutors uncovered during their investigation of the disgraced Virginia governor. "Although it will be delayed, we do not expect justice to be denied".

Hoosier one of 16 killed in Monday's crash
All of the bodies will be flown to Delaware. "He will be missed, and I send my condolences and prayers to his family and friends". Owen Lennon, who lived in Harriman but grew up in Ramapo, was one of 15 Marines who perished in the crash .

Acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim promised a swift retrial, and expressed confidence that his office would secure a conviction. Testimony at his trial showed that Silver illegally obtained nearly $4 million in exchange for government actions that benefited two real estate developers and a cancer expert.

"Though we reject Silver's sufficiency challenges, we hold that the District Court's instructions on honest services fraud and extortion do not comport with McDonnell and are therefore in error", the opinion said "We further hold that this error was not harmless because it is not clear beyond a reasonable doubt that a rational jury would have reached the same conclusion if properly instructed, as is required by law for the verdict to stand".

The decision is a blow to the legacy of former United States Attorney Preet Bharara, whose conviction of Silver was a key achievement in his campaign against Albany corruption. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx), who replaced Silver, said, "As I have said we must respect the judicial process". 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".

"There's no question that the government presented evidence relating to Mr". Or to use his or her position to "exert pressure on another official to perform an official act".

"It is not a statement that Silver did not break the law", Kramer said. "Silver's activities were, they don't meet the definition of a crime", he said. "It remains to be seen whether he wins the war".

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