Saturday, April 13, 2019

Journalist documents >>> "Sandbagging" <<< and >>> "Trial By Ambush" <<< at Chanel Lewis retrial by prosecutors, the trial judge and the OCME's twisty-turny testifier Dr. Margaret M. Prial

“Queens DA makes a mockery of due process in Chanel Lewis trial”                                 

                 ---Ted Hamm in  “The Indypendent”

 A senior reporter and now a college don at a small but esteemed Brooklyn institution of higher learning  >>> bells the cat <<<  about the “[re]trial by ambush” of Chanel Lewis 

“Mid-trial disclosure of significant scientific evidence is trial-by-ambush and makes a mockery of a defendant’s right to a fair trial....  What is the defense supposed to do when sandbagged in this manner?” 

                --- Former Prosecutor,                                                     and now a top tier advocate                                        for the improperly convicted

Hamm also gives some detailed dirt about the OCME’s Margaret Prial,  who testified at both the trial and retrial of Chanel Lewis,  but had some very new material in her presentation for the prosecution at the second trial of the diminutive young black man from Brooklyn

This is what the journalism professor in the County of Kings chose to make his lead in a recent article about a terrible miscarriage of justice in the County of Queens:   At the outset of day four (Thursday, March 21) of the retrial of Chanel Lewis for the murder of Karina Vetrano, Queens prosecutor Brad Leventhal walked over to the defense table with paperwork in his hand….   ‘We just got a new report from the medical examiner about Lewis’ hand injury,’ Leventhal informed Lewis’ team. As they read through the material, Lewis’ lawyers were visibly concerned….   Leventhal then told Judge Michael Aloise that they had just received the new findings. Aloise advised the defense that since there was no motion to include the evidence, there was nothing for him to rule on at that point. But on day six (Tuesday, March 26), Aloise, a strident ally of the prosecution, determined that Leventhal could indeed use the material. And the next day, Dr. Margaret Prial of the Office of Chief Medical Examiner of New York City took the stand….”   (See  “Queens DA makes a mockery of due process in Chanel Lewis trial”  by Ted Hamm,  4/11/19,  The Indypendent   []).  

Journalist and Professor Hamm continued with this:   "....   After Dr. Prial provided a graphic description of Vetrano’s brutal death by strangulation, jurors went to lunch. When they came back, they learned details of a report that Prial had not presented when she testified at the November mistrial. Based on blood cultures taken from the hand injury that brought Lewis to SUNY-Downstate Medical Center the day after Vetrano’s murder, Prial now argued that the bacteria in the cultures came from a mouth and anus, and from brackish water. In one of his two confessions, Lewis said that he had wiped off his bloody hand in a puddle at the murder scene....   Prial’s updated findings made only a minor splash. But they formed a dramatic part of Leventhal’s marathon closing statement on Monday, April 1. The already-high volume prosecutor shouted that the bacteria proved that after killing Vetrano, Lewis probed her cavities and that 'he had his way with her!'..." 

--  Former Prosecutor and now a top tier advocate for the improperly convicted says:  “Mid-trial disclosure of significant scientific evidence is trial-by-ambush and makes a mockery of a defendant’s right to a fair trial....  What is the defense supposed to do when sandbagged in this manner?”  

-- Other defense advocate quoted as saying the prosecution violated the Criminal Procedure Law of New York State during the retrial of Chanel Lewis

Professor Hamm's article included statements from several top defendants' advocates indicating that the late disclosure of the additional material from a new report by OCME  Medical Examiner Margaret Prial was very prejudicial to the rights of the accused and was a direct violation of the Criminal Procedure law of the State of New York. And that Dr. Prial's new [changed] testimony might well have led to the conviction of Chanel Lewis.

Ted Hamm's piece also contained some key pieces of negative history involving  Dr. Prial's shifting testimony in other cases.


Anonymous said...

God Bless u Ted Hamm

god bless u

Anonymous said...

The Chanel Lewis defense team from Legal Aid obviously tried a minimalist case at the retrial, but at the same time preserving multiple issues and seeking to make a good record for appeal.
Justice Michael Aloise and his courtroom goofs are well known at Monroe Place, however steering everything into an appeal is a risky litigation strategy

Anonymous said...

When a Judge decides they'll be a guilty verdict the only strategy is an appeal. Its a good plan with the two Judges on this case Aloise and Lasak. Aloise is a hack and Lasak is Polish.

Anonymous said...

Can a conviction get overturned because the judge is polish?

Anonymous said...

Only if he is Kiwi polish, and it causes him to make permanent smudges on all his official orders; Griffin comes off easier, so it causes far less permanent smudging; I don't know about "Shinola," but I like the way it can be used in a phrase that describes the judges in this case.

Anonymous said...

There might have been a serious problem with the 'defense strategy' in the Chanel Lewis case.
With their recent letter to the New York City Council about racially biased DNA Collection dragnets, like the one allegedly used to track down Chanel Lewis, as well as a racially biased NYPD DNA database, Legal Aid appears to have been possibly pursuing an agenda in the Chanel Lewis case involving the problematic use of DNA evidence by the prosecutors in many cases, rather than mounting a more aggressive defense on other issues with several prosecution witnesses, not the least of whom were Cathy and Phil Vetrano and the likes of NYPD Det. Lt. John Russo.
Legal Aid is already too conflicted to actually look into the appeal issues caused by a possible conflict of interest and incompetence by defense counsel; some overseer needs to step in, possibly as a 'next best friend' for Mr. Lewis.

Anonymous said...

Chanel Lewis was arrested on February 4, 2017 after giving a 'voluntary DNA sample' to police and a 'voluntary confession' following an overnight coercive interrogation of several hours without counsel.

More than two months before that, the ACLU published an article by a 'Senior Policy Analyst' in its 'ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project', Jay Stanley. In that article, Mr. Stanley gave this warning: 'There is [ ] a danger that some less scientifically sophisticated police officers will give excessive credence to [speculative DNA-based phenotype reconstructions] attempting to use them in whole or part to establish probable cause, or to pressure people to “voluntarily” provide DNA samples or submit to other intrusive investigatory techniques....'

Even though that was more than two months before the NYPD zeroed-in on Chanel Lewis, it was while the NYPD was conducting its DNA dragnet for black men in and around the Brooklyn-Queens border communities near Howard Beach and Spring Creek Park.

Mr. Stanley's article didn't deal with any of the goings on in the investigation following Karina Vetrano's murder in August, 2016. Instead, it focused on a case in Orlando, Florida and the DNA-based phenotype reconstruction done by a particular testing company used by the Orlando Police Department.

Anonymous said...

Law enforcement has turned DNA into the new "lie detector" test. Seems all so scientific. Charts and experts testify about stuff nobody understands.

Anonymous said...

Where is Eaton??

Anonymous said...

Todays the day

As my good friend Flip used to say, Here comes the Judge !!!

Anonymous said...

As far as Brooklyn leaders are concerned Eaton and Capano have moved to Florida

Anonymous said...

So, Judge Michael Aloise is suddenly in CYA mode.
Amid allegations of 'jury misconduct', the trial judge postponed sentencing, which had been scheduled for today, to conduct a hearing on the issue of jury misconduct next Monday.
Don't expect much of a hearing on this matter, 'Judge Homey' don't play dat for convicted defendants.

Anonymous said...

These grass eaters like Aloise in Queens and D'Emic in Brooklyn sell out for getting a useless kid on DA's staff.

At least Lori Loughlins kids drop out.

Anonymous said...

I remember a Brooklyn Judge who used to 'remind' insurance company lawyers that his daughter could always use per diam work from their firms; or even better, cases to work on as outside counsel for their insurance carriers.