Thursday, October 27, 2011

International Crime and Congratulations

I know it's only been two months, but Pros. Dis. is taking a much needed hiatus for the next week to investigate crime in international waters. A boat, sun, and some drinks may be involved.

Did I give away too much? Check out this post about internet stalking and you tell me.

In my absence, my fellow prosecutors and bloggers will carry on. Check them out and be sure to come on back next week for new discretions. I will be refreshed and so will the posts.

D.A. Confidential - He's giving a fantastic series of a true crime murder investigation right now.
Sarena Strauss - Former prosecutor and author of Bronx D.A. gives her insight into current events, child abuse, child safety, and sex crimes among other topics
Matt Mangino - Former top prosecutor in a Pennsylvania county provides daily analysis of current events (where does he find the time?)
Crim Law - Virginia prosecutor who is now a primary source for Wikipedia
Lisa Regan - frequent contributor here and author blogging about her journey into publication.

A special note of congratulations to two prosecutors in Buffalo, New York. Prosecutors Jim Bargnesi and David Heraty did a spectacular job in convicting a defendant of murder in the second degree.

What made this case interesting is that it was a retrial of a conviction in 2007 where a jury found the defendant guilty of murder in the first degree. The Court of Appeals (highest court in NY) reversed the conviction and sent it back because it deemed the defendant's confession was obtained illegally. At the second trial, the co-defendant, who testified against the defendant in the first trial, refused to testify. The court allowed Jim and Dave to use the testimony of the co-defendant from the first trial during the retrial due to a neat little exception in the hearsay rules.

Those prosecutors were left without a confession and with the only identification of the defendant during the crime from a 2007 transcript and still obtained a conviction (Don't worry there was some other evidence).

Well done! Interested in the difference between murder 1 and 2 in NY? Look at this prior post.

So if this doesn't keep you busy in my absence, feel free to comment and provide some topics you would like to know more about. Questions you always wanted to ask. Anything you want. Email or comment. Talk to you soon.


  1. Thanks for the shout-out. I'll definitely check out the other bloggers too. Hope the hiatus is enjoyable! I'm sure I have questions for you or topics for future posts. I'll be back. :)

  2. I know, I know! Does the DA have any influence over sentencing? Could you do a post about that? Or the admissibility of a defendant's prior arrests/convictions in a trial? I've always wanted to know more about those topics. Like in Philly right now this huge story just broke about a woman holding people captive for their social security checks and apparently she has a prior conviction for having starved someone to death or something to that effect. I was wondering if prosecutors would be able to use that or if it would have any value if they have to try her for these new crimes. That's just one example--I realize the laws in NY would be different but overall I've always wondered how important it is to a prosecutor to touch on and/or use prior convictions of defendnats in trials.

  3. Thanks Lisa. Definitely topics I'll address soon.