On Friday, a federal judge — who may be auditioning for a future slot on the U.S. Supreme Court — overturned the convictions of two former New York City cops accused of working for the Luchese crime family as mob hit men.
Judge Jack Weinstein said that he still believes they are guilty, but the statute of limitations had run out. Besides, liberals always work overtime in order to avoid incarcerating criminals and terrorists, and Weinstein’s judicial history strongly suggested he’s on the left of the political spectrum.
Three months ago, a jury found former NYPD detectives Louis Eppolito and Steven Caracappa guilty of participating in eight murders while on the payroll of the organized crime underboss. But a lawyer in a black robe knows best, so dirty cops lucked out by having a Lyndon Johnson-appointed judge hear their case.
>From the start, he was an activist judge. One example is his refusal to hear drug case because he disagreed with the federal sentencing guidelines.
In his decision, Judge Jack Weinstein said he agreed with a jury that Eppolito and Caracappa were guilty of murder, kidnapping and other crimes, but unfortunately the law “compelled” him to overturn the verdicts on the most serious charges. Weinstein granted the former cops a new trial on drug charges and Eppolito a new trial on money laundering charges. It will be interesting to see how Weinstein handles the drug charges.
“The evidence at trial overwhelmingly established the defendants’ participation in a large number of heinous and violent crimes,” he said in his ruling.
“Nevertheless the five-year statute of limitations mandates granting the defendants a judgment of acquittal on the key charge against them — racketeering conspiracy.”
Less than a month ago, Weinstein sentenced the two disgraced law enforcement officers to life in prison.
During the original trial, prosecutors claimed that the “hits” were part of a murder and drug conspiracy that continued until a 2005 drug deal. They claimed that the former cops circumvented a five-year statute of limitations on federal charges. The jury agreed.
But the defense team for the two rogue cops filed a post-trial motion contending that the most serious murder and racketeering charges had expired.
“The evidence presented at the trial overwhelmingly established the defendants’ participation in a large number of heinous and violent crimes, including eight murders,” the judge wrote in his ruling.
The two NYPD detectives retired to Las Vegas in the mid-1990s, at which point “the conspiracy that began in New York in the 1980s had come to a definite close,” the judge wrote. What Judge Weinstein should have added is “as far as we know.”
“The defendants were no longer in contact with their old associates in the Luchese crime family,” the judge ruled. Unfortunately, Judge Weinstein hadn’t mentioned how he came to know that.
”’Jim Kouri, CPP, is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he’s a staff writer for the New Media Alliance (thenma.org). He’s former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed “Crack City” by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He’s also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He’s a news writer for TheConservativeVoice.Com. He’s also a columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he’s syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. He’s appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com. Kouri’s own Web site is located at”’ http://jimkouri.us
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