More Prosecutorial Skullduggery in Queens

Wiretaps of our main witness?? Oh--riiight...those...

Some gems from an article about how the Queens DA's office utterly failed to turn over evidence utterly damaging to the credibility of their complainiant:

For all its complex turns, the Vitiello case underscores the hurdles that often must be crossed before prosecutorial misconduct or mistakes can be corrected.

No one, after all, denied that under long-established case law, Mr. Vitiello should have been given the prosecutor's information about Mr. McDonnell. It could have supported the defense argument that many people had stronger motives to shoot him than Mr. Vitiello, who apparently was no more than a casual acquaintance. The material also might have been used to impeach Mr. McDonnell's credibility, since prosecutors concede that he lied about being a law-abiding citizen.

Nevertheless, during those nine years of Mr. Vitiello's appeals, the district attorney was able to persuade a total of seven New York State judges to either reject or ignore the issue, according to Mitchell Briskey, the Legal Aid Society lawyer who represents Mr. Vitiello.

The prosecutors argued that the assistant district attorney who tried Mr. Vitiello did not know about the investigation of Mr. McDonnell, which was being handled by a different part of the office. "If we had known it, we would have disclosed it," said Jack Ryan, the chief assistant to Mr. Brown.(TO SEE WHY THIS IS COMPLETE CRAP, SEE BELOW) He acknowledged, though, the responsibility for disclosure generally falls on the entire office under the doctrine of "imputed knowledge."

In addition, the prosecutors, in fighting to preserve their conviction, had advanced a novel argument that there was a "law enforcement exemption" that permitted them to withhold the information about Mr. McDonnell because revealing it would have jeopardized the undercover investigation. They maintained that this exemption trumped Mr. Vitiello's right to use the material to defend himself in the unrelated case.

It is just astonishing that these people can twist the law, successfully bullshit judges, and then say "oh, had we but known... we'd have done the right thing..." It is disgusting.

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