Corruption Conviction Overturned for Ex-NY Assembly Speaker

Conviction of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver overturned

"The ruling today overturning the conviction of Sheldon Silver continues to recognize the significance of the underlying facts of the case, even as the appellate court found that the newly applicable legal standard requires this decision", the school said.

The reversal of Sheldon Silver's fraud and extortion conviction exposes major flaws in state and federal anti-corruption laws which can allow actions the public would consider obviously wrong to go unpunished, critics and lawmakers said Thursday.

In May 2016, a Manhattan federal court sentenced him to 12 years in prison for corruption.

"Because the judge didn't give the jury the rules that weren't in place at the time, the conviction has to be vacated because the bribery statute has to be re-written, reinterpreted by the Supreme Court to give a person a better chance at getting an acquittal", says Gershman.

"The evidence was strong", Preet Bharara, the former United States attorney who brought the case, tweeted Thursday.

Prosecutors presented evidence that they said showed Silver used his political clout to gain almost $4 million through bribes and kickbacks. In their view, this is not justice denied, and it will only be a matter of time until Silver - "one of the most powerful politicians in New York State history" - gets a just punishment.

The Silver decision "should fuel an anger that is existing already" in the public, he said.

At trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Silver had obtained payments in return for actions taken on behalf of a prominent cancer researcher, Dr. Robert N. Taub of Columbia University, and two real estate developers, Glenwood Management and the Witkoff Group.

"Given the teachings of the Supreme Court in McDonnell", Cabranes added, "and the particular circumstances of this case, we simply can not reach that conclusion".

"While we are disappointed by the Second Circuit's decision, we respect it, and look forward to retrying the case", Kim said in a statement. Bob McDonnell, whose conviction was overturned based on a narrower definition of "honest services" fraud. "The question presented to us, however, is not how a jury would likely view the evidence presented by the government". Silver also allegedly profited from the arrangements. The Supreme Court changed the law. Both Silver's and the Skeloses convictions were the culmination of a campaign against corruption in Albany led by Preet Bharara, the former US attorney in Manhattan.

The former assembly speaker was one of the most powerful political figures in NY.

Here's a link to the appeals court decision.

Heastie, a Bronx Democrat who was tapped by his Democratic colleagues to run the Assembly after Silver stepped down in 2015, offered a brief assessment of his predecessor's legal news Thursday.



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