April 08, 2021

Gothamist article on recent Queens exonerations discusses firm’s lawsuits against Queens DA

In a long article reporting on the recent exonerations in Queens of George Bell, Gary Johnson, and Rohan Bolt after they spent almost a quarter-century in prison, Gothamist discusses our firm’s lawsuits against New York City based on the longstanding misconduct of the Queens DA’s Office. In addition to covering our documentation of more than a hundred decisions in which appellate courts admonished Queens prosecutors for misconduct, the article also reports on evidence we recently obtained of former DA Richard Brown’s indifference to this pervasive misconduct:

Much of this misconduct took place after District Attorney Richard Brown took power in 1991. Newly-obtained evidence shows that less than a decade into his tenure, Brown was well aware of at least some of the misconduct happening under his watch.

In 1998, after another serious conviction was reversed in Queens due to an appellate finding of prosecutorial misconduct, Brown scribbled a note to one of his executives, which was found attached to the court’s decision. “Jack – Let’s discuss how to handle – I think we’ve been getting away with this kind of stuff for a long time,” the District Attorney wrote. The note was finally released to Rudin and several other attorneys last month as part of a lawsuit over prosecutorial misconduct that began nine years ago.

Brown’s admission in internal documents that the office has “been getting away with this kind of stuff for a long time” is among the most powerful evidence yet of the DA’s indifference to ongoing misconduct by Queens prosecutors. Read the whole Gothamist article here.