After sixteen and a half years in prison for a crime I was innocent of, the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals vacated my sentence on the grounds of insufficient evidence--which is equivalent to a "not guilty" verdict--and ordered my immediate release, barring a retrial. I was released and reunited with my family.
Once again, John Giuca's bid for a new, and much fairer, trial than he had in Brooklyn ten years ago has been frustrated after an evidentiary hearing in which the prosecution's star witness admitted he lied at Giuca's trial and the prosecution's misconduct was further exposed as a brazen effort to hide the truth from the jury.
It seems incontestable that Louisiana's criminal justice system is in a state of collapse. The state judiciary appears to be oblivious to violations of the constitutional rights of criminal defendants; prosecutors continue to violate the rights of accused with impunity, especially by suppressing exculpatory evidence; public defenders are so overwhelmed by huge caseloads they have refused to take new cases; and the state prisons have the highest incarceration rate in the nation.
The best example of why local prosecutors cannot be trusted to investigate police shootings of civilians is the conduct of Rensselaer District Attorney Joel Abelove, who recklessly and unlawfully has tried to prevent a fair and thorough investigation into a fatal police shooting of an unarmed civilian.
There are two problems with threatening long sentences to extract cooperation from low-level drug offenders. This strategy is ineffective in impacting the drug trade. It also inflicts immense collateral damage on innocent people and low-level offenders, while letting the guiltiest offenders off more easily.