Thursday, January 31, 2008

EDITORIAL WORTH READING

We are going back on our promise that this week would be a Super Bowl "only" posting week because today we stumbled upon an outstanding editorial worth printing here on our blog site.

Mr. Sanchez, Editor/Publisher of The Queens Ledger has written an editorial so that the layman can better understand the recent decision by Judge Sheri Roman dismissing the August 2007 Grand Jury indictment of Councilman Dennis Gallagher. The editorial is very matter of fact, without bias and free of prejudice. Mr. Sanchez effectively dissects Judge Roman's decision in order for the reader to understand her reasoning and the facts that led to the dismissal of the charges.

The Patriots would like to congratulate and commend Mr. Sanchez for a thought provoking and poignant editorial.

Here is the editorial:

After being furnished with the 26-page decision by Judge Sheri Roman dismissing the August 2007 Grand Jury indictment of Councilman Dennis Gallagher on rape charges in a July 2007 incident, we figured it might better serve our readers to search through the document and detail the "technicalities" by which the judge made her decision to let Gallagher's legal team win this round.

To our surprise, the decision read more like a page-turning crime tale, packed with courtroom grandstanding, abuse of power, and a prosecutor's courtroom audition for a role on a "Movie of the Week."

Judge Roman chided Assistant District Attorney Kenneth Applebaum with phrases like "bias," "ignored jurors requests," "bold prejudice," and "breached his duties as a quasi-judicial court officer." It is quite fascinating reading, even for your average layman. It is, in fact, available for perusal on line. According to legal experts we spoke with, a ruling like this is not typical at all.

Whether or not you believe all you have read in our local papers about the charges brought against the councilman, while reading this decision it is difficult not to imagine yourself as one of the jurors hearing the case. Jurors who asked for help in an effort to better understand the line of questioning were told by an officer of the court (who is also the prosecuting attorney), "What do you need a judge for? I'll answer your questions. That is my answer."

Then when other jurors voiced concerns about the pertinence of certain lines of questioning, they were told their complaint would be taken up later. One can plainly see why Judge Roman dismissed the case – not on technicalities, but on what she branded "bold prejudice," in the Grand Jury room. Apparently, it is in the best interest of justice that if jurors or counsel asks for a ruling by a judge, it is standard operating procedure to grant their wish. Not in that courtroom, however.

The very reason it is standard procedure to allow requests for a judge to give rulings to a Grand Jury is because there is no judge in the courtroom and the prosecuting attorney is given the duty as the quasi-judicial officer, trusted by the people and the courts to operate the proceedings fairly. Jurors are not so familiar with the proceedings and are a bit intimidated by their surroundings, so with an aggressive, intimidating prosecutor - which by all accounts Applebaum was that day - then what you get is a jury that feels intimidated into falling in line.

Applebaum crossed the line – a line he is well aware of – a line which attorneys like him face every day.

But the real story still begs one question - why?

We can't answer that question – only Applebaum and Queens District Attorney Richard Brown can.

According to Judge Roman, statements made by the members of the jury themselves were ignored by Applebaum. In fact, one juror asked, "How do we get a judge in here?" Applebaum reportedly became offensive, asking, "For what purpose? What are your questions about? Tell me!" In Judge Roman's words, the team led by Applebaum, "…not only created just a substantial risk of prejudicing the jury against Gallagher, it in fact created a bold prejudice."

Talk about Applebaum and the district attorney being the judge and jury! This prosecutor abused his power and made a mockery out of the whole case. Furthermore, when another juror wouldn't let abandon the idea of getting a real judge in the room, Applebaum became pretty unwound, stating to the juror, "That is your answer, okay?"

So why would Kenneth Applebaum, an assistant district attorney under Brown, step over the line so blatantly? Why was his bias against Gallagher so obvious to the Grand Jury (supported by the Supreme Court judge), but not to Applebaum himself or his boss?

The prosecutor in the Duke lacrosse team case was so intent on proving their guilt, he, too, crossed the line. In fact, he actually made things up.

This case reeks of an assistant DA looking to make a name for himself with reckless abandon. Would he be so passionate if Gallagher were a Democrat, would he be so passionate if Gallagher were not term-limited out of the City Council in 2009?

These are some of the questions that we have here.

Throughout the 26-page ruling it is clearly obvious that Applebaum and his team were, well, as the judge put it, "…unprofessional and [it is] improper conduct for a prosecutor to express his personal belief as to the truth of falsity of any testimony." In doing so, he makes himself an unsworn witness, supporting his case by his own veracity and position.

Judge Roman called the line of questioning "interrogation."

We don't presume to know of Gallagher's guilt or innocence on the charges, but it seems clear that there are people in the District Attorney's office that will do anything to get him convicted.

25 comments:

AmAndDan said...

I commend Walter on his excellent editorial. It leads one to look at all the facts and how this process was handled. My question is whether this prosecutor not only stepped over the line, but broke an oath to support the public by his overanxious handling of the case. It is unfortunate that the legal system has a political side. Proving guilt or innocense should be based on facts and tried in court based on proper procedures and ethics. Our country was built upon it. Hopefully, this prosecutor will be reprimanded for his acts.

Thomas said...

I think it raises the question that if the evidence is so strong against Gallagher why did the Assistant District Attorney need all the court room drama and use a line of questioning that was beyond the limits of the law? Could it be that the case against Gallagher is weak?

GI Joe said...

I was no fan of the Queens Ledger, however, I am very impressed with Mr. Sanchez's no nonsense approach to this issue. I have to say it is refreshing to read an editorial based upon facts and not an article that is an entire diatribe filled with personal beliefs. You have won me as a reader

Johnny Cochrane said...

"If it don't fit, you must admit" (that the DA has it out for Gallagher)

Lady Justice said...

Imagine for a moment if a member of the JPCA had experienced the same injustice that Gallagher endured during the Grand Jury proceedings. Would DA Brown be on the cover of the next issue of the Juniper Berry as pictured Quasimoto? Would there be a civil liberties lawsuit brought against the DA office? You can bet your ass there would be, yet it's ok for the councilman to be treated unfairly. Holden is the biggest hypocrite known to man.

Tony Tulips said...

You think Gallagher's situation is a mess? Imagine the trouble I could cause if the people of Middle Village and Maspeth had a temporary mental lapse and voted for me! I could ruin the district in 5 business days. The world in 7.

Elias said...

This is another example of a prosecution team unchecked. They wanted headlines and I am glad they recieved the headlines they deserved.

Inspector Gadget said...

What would happen if Charles Barron was treated this way? the streets and the steps of the court house would be filled with protestors.

Judge Judy says.... said...

Morons! The bunch of them.

Anonymous said...

Maybe ADA Kenneth Applebaum presented the case to the Grand Jury the way he did in the hope of making the cover of the Juniper Berry and become the leading candidate for the JPCA Man of the Year award.

From the inside speaking out said...

This Grand Jury indictment was suspect from the outset...Deputy Chief Kenneth Applebaum, acting under the direction of his Bureau Chief, Marjory Fischer, needed to "pad" the presentation....Both Fischer and Applebaum knew the case was problematic...They knew because the high level NYPD Detective Bureau members who conducted the investigation informed these prosecutors of the following;
A) The legal standard for arrest (probable cause) was questionable at best.
B) The evidence did not support the violent acts claimed nor did the evidence support the manner in which the assault is alleged to have occurred.
C) The investigating detectives deemed the witness as a complainant of dubious credibility as they found her series of statements to be inconsistent and contrary with the facts and the evidence.......I'm sure Judge Brown will re-present....And what you have just read will come out in open court...At this point, it's rather a bit of an open secret anyway...I myself have written about this before...You may despise Gallagher, for whatever reasons, but I'm telling you, in this case, he is innocent...He got himself into this jam due to very bad judgement, but he did not commit one single crime that evening in that office...I know it for a fact and after trial, so will the rest of the city.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget to mention Bob Holden's busy fingers feverishly dialing any newspaper hack who would listen him. Gone was the Gallagher of two years ago, when he was the JPCA golden boy of the year. No, this time, the venemous bile that Herr Holden held was liberally spewed working overtime from Bobby's illegal basement to try to badmouth his former ally.

Holden is the biggest weenie in this county. Shame, shame, shame. Now suffer the consequences of your actions Bobby Boy--more public humiliation and degradation. hahhahahaha.

LSAT said...

I think we are missing the point. At this junction this is not about innocence or guilt. It is about the proper execution of justice. The reason we are the greatest country is the world is because we believe that everyone is innocent until proven and our judicial process should uphold that ideal.When prosecutors take illegal steps to gurantee a prosecution we should call for an investigation

Anonymous said...

Do you think DA Brown will fire Applebaum? Or will he reward him with a raise and promotion?

Anonymous said...

Someone should do a Lexus search and put misconduct and Applebaum in see what you get!

This is not the first time it won't be the last unless Judge Brown stops the Politics and fires Ken Applebaum

Anonymous said...

Bad start of the year for the DA first the person in his office under investigation with Mob(NO BROWN PRESS CONFRENCE ON THAT)

Then The Gallagher Misconduct case.

And soon Sean Bell.

Anonymous said...

I heard that Applebaum always has an edge but most time he just bullies his way through. Gallagher hasn't buckled. I am sure Gallagher isn't Polly Pure Bread, but I doubt he is a Rapist.

Anonymous said...

Sanchez is usually an idiot. I am shocked to have seen his Editorial it is thought prevoking

Anonymous said...

I believe that the JPCA will soon be subpeoned to testify!

from the inside speaking out said...

Judge Brown is not going to fire Ken Applebaum...Applebaum conducted himself in an overzealous manner....Ken knew he had little to work with.... He had a witness who had completely alienated the detectives in charge of the investigation. The same complaining witness who has led to an amicable but definitive split among prosecutors within the Special Victims Bureau as to her credibility and even her mental and emotional state....She was not a sympathetic figure to the Grand Jurors....Applebaum, who by the way, is an otherwise highly effective prosecutor, was simply being a good soldier, and carrying out the wishes of Judge Brown, Browns executive; Jack Ryan, and Bureau head, Marjory Fischer...It was assumed by each of these individuals that once indicted, Gallagher would accept the sweetheart plea he was indeed offered (Just one assault charge, no sexual connotations, no jail time, but resignation of his seat)....His rejection was unexpected...It has led to much angst in the offices of the QDAO....There has been some personal, unpublished volleys between the camps and the bad blood, at least in part, has something to do with the QDAO proceeding (at least for now)...The Duke references by Gallaghers original attorney (Mahler) to the media really angered many in the office, even those who backed Gallagher...It was a cheap shot, even if it was taken out of context...A fair minded individual can consider what they've just read and perhaps, just maybe, understand the true machinations and politics that go into these proceedings at times...I will state this without hesistation; Kenny Applebaum is a damn good prosecutor and this borough is lucky to have him....He's not going anywhere, in spite of the fact that some Gallagher cronies are crying for his head....But Ken, in carrying out what was directed, went way too far to secure an indictment...He's embarrassed and a bit humiliated...But he'll survive...As for Gallagher, he's like Sherman McCoy from Bonfire Of The Vanities...He's an innocent man, caught up in the maw of this system, with its attendent media blitz and all the political drama that goes with it....Unlike Applebaum,the councilman created this mess purely on his own and he'll simply have to endure until his acquittal...And the man will be acquitted...Bank on it.

Anonymous said...

Great synopsis Mr. From the Inside. What this points to is a witch hunt with the putrid smell of the JPCA executive board behind it. Add this to the long list of Holden and his monkey's failures. Let an investigation begin into who was really behind this witch hunt and let the chips fall where they may--on Holden's pointy head.

Anonymous said...

In Nazi germany SS soldiers "were just following orders"

Ken Applebaum knew he was breaking the law, he knew he committed misconduct, he knew its not the first time he was cited for misconduct.

The real issue is just how far a DA's office will go to punish a political enemy.

Damn the Law commit misconduct!

Just imagine if Gallagher's family did not have the resources to get top bill Lawyers.

He would have been railroaded.

So From the Inside. Understand this from the outside. If you blindly follow orders and knowingly break the law you should be punished A special Investigator should look into DA Browns office to see how many other abuses of power can be uncovered.

One thing is clear DA Brown and his DA stormtrooper Ken Applebaum have learned nothing from Nazi Germany

From the Inside Speaking Out said...

The law wasn't broken there, Charles Darwin....Procedural errors?..Egregious to be sure..Unethical behavior? Certainly and without a shadow of a doubt..But NOT illegal...I'm curious...Which law or laws were broken?....You sound just like that other bunch who are ready and eager to convict Gallagher without knowing many of the facts and displaying an ignorance of the law and our constitution (Not to mention the NYS PL and NYS CPL)....Hit the library, slappy...You need remedial training.

Anonymous said...

Slappy = JPCA executive board monkey.

We have a witch hunt here people, plain and simple.

Let all know that the JPCA executive board is a lead instigator in the misinformation campaign against Gallgher.

Just look at their propaganda organs, Forum West, the Dingle Berry and their loathsome website, which is Wilkentubby's alternate ego. Gallager went from Golden Boy JPCA Man of the Year to JPCA to target #1 according to Herr Holden's crap-ricious whims.

Let the investigation begin into the JPCA's behind the scene witchhunt of an innocent man due to their vile, vincidcitve and noncompromising postitions against anyone who doesn't kowtow to their idiotic public policies about what is good for Middle Village.

And it's not just Holden. All the monkeys should be investigated and prosecuted for crimes against our neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

FROM THE INSIDE SPEAKING OUT....Here Ye, Here Ye!Excellent!...Some Dick Tracy, Colombo or Inspector Clusseau wannabe has attempted to "out' me as Kim Peterson of the QDAO on the Queens Crap website....I'm thrilled someone would think I'm that gorgeous, educated and plugged in....Please, go ahead and forward all of this to Wayne Barrett of the Village Voice....Don't stop there....Alert Judge Brown as well...He has a division that handles the misconduct you blogged about, Mr. or Ms. "pinky couldn't bed kim said"...And in case you don't trust the DA to investigate his own, might I suggest the New York City Department Of Investigation or perhaps The New York State Office of the Attorney General?....I'm certain Andrew Cuomo would have someone look into your allegation....However, when these investigations turn up that Ms. Peterson has absolutely nothing to do with the prior postings, either as the blogger, author or source to Gallagher or anyone, myself included, to anyone on this site,I suggest you'd better duck....You have committed libel.....And you think your anonymous...Tut, tut.....A libel action of which I highly recommend Ms. Peterson bring forth would out the offending poster under a court ordered subpoena....Should such an action be commenced, no subpoena will be necessary for me (but please feel free to serve one!)...I am not a member of the QDAO or the NYPD...Just someone with sources (Just like Mr. Barrett) who has inside knowledge....So I will gleefully volunteer to surface and help Ms. Peterson should she elect to take legal action against this slanderous allegation....Oh, one more thing...Gallagher is innocent of these charges...Guilty of bad judgement and acting like an all around lout, but completely innocent of all charges stemming from the August liason...See you all in court (Criminal and now PERHAPS Civil!)...I'm just an email or phone call away Ms. Peterson...Let me know.