November 15, 2002

Justice?! Nowhere In Sight

[ From ] :

Ruling in Jogger Case Delayed

The Manhattan judge overseeing the Central Park jogger case said he won't rule until February on whether to set aside the convictions against the five young men for the 1989 rape and near-fatal attack.

State Supreme Court Justice Charles Tejada issued an order yesterday setting the February date. He also ordered the Manhattan district attorney's office to submit its response to defense motions to set aside the convictions by noon Dec. 5, and the defense to reply to the prosecutor's papers by Jan. 6.

"This matter is adjourned to February 6, 2003 for decision," Tejada wrote in the order.

The two-month adjournment did not please defense attorney Roger Wareham, who represents three of the five young men convicted in the attack.

"We wanted a much shorter time," said Wareham, whose co-counsel Michael Warren filed a motion to set aside the verdicts on Aug. 30, nearly four months after a DNA match linked a serial rapist who confessed to the crime last winter to the rape of the jogger. "The longer it takes to get resolved, the more needless suffering on our clients and their families because they want to have this taint removed from them. And we think there's enough evidence to warrant the setting aside of the verdict."

Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau has had four full-time staffers on the reinvestigation of the case since last May when Matias Reyes, who is serving 33 1/3 years to life on four other rapes and a murder, was linked to the jogger through a DNA match.

An internal police report obtained by Newsday said that all forensic evidence used at the trial had been determined to be useless. And about a month ago, Morgenthau said that if Reyes' confession continued to hold up, he would go along with the defense motion to vacate, according to his spokeswoman Barbara Thompson.

This is some straight out of left field ish! Why Tejada would make such a ruling is beyond me. All indications are that even the Manhattan DA's office sees the handwriting on the wall and won't fight an order to vacate the convictions.

There should be large-scale protests, letters, petitions and confrontations to overturn this cruel order. Info to come for Tejada, DA Robert "Comatose Bob" Morgenthau and a few pols sympathetic to the Central Park 5.

Posted by ronn at November 15, 2002 08:56 AM

That is an outrage! I expect that we'll be hearing of more organized protests against this ruling in the weeks to come. Stay tuned. Posted by: Ray on November 16, 2002 01:34 AM
Ray, This was so unexpected. But really, we should not be surprised. The DA will use this to his advantage, making it appear that his "review" was fair and impartial and that the decision to expunge the convictions was made after an exhaustive look. Nothing could be further from the truth. The guys should be cleared immediately and talks begun to settle any civil claims to come. Posted by: ronn on November 16, 2002 10:11 AM