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Prosecutorial misconduct allows crooked cop to skate


The great blue circle of life:

The cases were thrown out in scores. In the Bronx, 349 convictions were tossed, along with more than 100 in Manhattan. In Brooklyn, 90 were overturned.

After Joseph Franco was charged in 2019 with perjury and other crimes related to his decades as a New York Police Department narcotics detective, prosecutors lined up to dismiss cases in which he had been involved.

But on Tuesday, one more prosecution was tossed: that of Mr. Franco himself. A New York State judge, Robert M. Mandelbaum, found that prosecutors with the Manhattan district attorney’s office had failed to turn over evidence to the detective’s lawyers on three occasions, a major ethical violation, and dismissed the charges.

“As you have heard,” Justice Mandelbaum told jurors, “to date there have been two different occasions that you have heard about where the prosecution failed to disclose certain evidence.”

“It now turns out that the prosecution failed to disclose additional evidence only learned about today,” he added.

The prosecutor handling the case, Stephanie Minogue, was immediately removed as deputy chief of the Police Accountability Unit, which reports directly to the Manhattan district attorney, Alvin L. Bragg.

Mr. Franco’s trial was meant to shine a spotlight on police misconduct at a time when prosecutors were concerned with showing that they could hold their law enforcement partners to account. Instead, the two-week trial will be remembered as a highly public case of wrongdoing by prosecutors, one that all but ensures that the former detective will not face another jury. It leaves the question of his guilt in limbo and raises questions about the swift dismissal of the hundreds of cases in which he was involved.

Pure incompetence/lawlessness, or professional courtesy?

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