Federal prosecutors plan to re-try case against Silver after conviction overturned

14 July 2017, 12:21 | Isaac Mcdaniel

Former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver arriving at the courthouse in New York Nov. 24 2015. JTA

Former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver arriving at the courthouse in New York Nov. 24 2015. JTA

The federal appeals court says that because of that Supreme Court ruling, the instructions the judge gave in the Silver case to the jury are "erroneous", and "the jury may have convicted Silver for conduct that is not unlawful, and a properly instructed jury might have reached a different conclusion". "Rather, it is whether it is clear, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a rational jury, properly instructed, would have found Silver guilty".

Since Silver was convicted in late 2015, the US Supreme Court issued a significant ruling on public corruption cases.

No matter how bad these facts may have appeared on paper, the Second Circuit ruled as "erroneous" the convictions that resulted from them.

In Thursday's decision, Circuit Judge Jose Cabranes said the McDonnell holding tainted the instructions Silver's jury had been given, through no fault of prosecutors or the trial judge.

Silver was convicted in 2015 of honest services fraud, extortion and bribery and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

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

"We look forward to presenting to another jury the evidence of decades-long corruption by one of the most powerful politicians in New York State history", Kim said. "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". The Skelos' and Silver have all been free on bail pending the outcome of their appeals. In another, Silver stood accused of receiving secret legal fees from another law firm after he referred two real-estate developers to it as clients.

Lawyers for Silver had made the McDonnell ruling a key component of their appeal. Both Silver's and the Skeloses convictions were the culmination of a campaign against corruption in Albany led by Preet Bharara, the former USA attorney in Manhattan. In fact, they rejected every attempt by Silver's legal team to contest the quality of the dirty deeds prosecutors aired during his five-week trial. The U.S. Attorney's Office under Preet Bharara's leadership won its case, and we have every expectation that the people can win again at retrial.

The government even admitted during its appeal argument that the jury instructions were "partially wrong", in light of McDonnell, "but argued that the evidence was more than sufficient to sustain his conviction".



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