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Thursday, December 24, 2009

More Judges to be Proud of, for Slamming Bad Lawyers

Wrongly convicted, Abdullah Wilson suing accuser for $20 million, claiming he lied on witness stand
The New York Daily News by Thomas Zambito - December 24, 2009

Abdullah Wilson, who served nearly 10 years for robbery he says he didn’t commit, is suing Long Island City scrap metal shop owner Roger Erra, whose testimony helped send Wilson to prison. Related NewsNun's group finds homes for former inmates & their kidsAshanti stalker Devar Hurd found guilty; sent naked photos of self to singer's momCrooked Brooklyn judge Gerald Garson leaves halfway houseRadical lawyer Lynne Stewart should get even more prison time, federal appeals court saysBronx pub owner owes $3 million in taxesAfter spending 9-1/2 years in prison for a stickup he says he didn't commit, Abdullah Wilson is out to make his accuser pay. Trouble is, the victim isn't buying Wilson's innocence. Wilson's 1995 conviction for the gunpoint robbery of a Long Island City scrap metal dealer was tossed out in August by federal appeals judges. Queens prosecutors then dismissed the charges in October. Buoyed by his victory, Wilson, 45, this week sued scrap metal dealer Roger Erra for $20 million in Queens Supreme Court, contending Erra lied on the witness stand when he fingered him as the thief. "I don't want what happened to me to happen to somebody else," Wilson said. "I want to clear my name." Erra labeled the lawsuit a money grab by an out-of-work ex-con. Erra said he took the legal papers Wilson dropped off at his business and "threw them right in the garbage." "They're not legal tender," Erra fumed. "I know he's the guy. He robbed me. What he's trying to do is extort me." Wilson says he was in Pennsylvania laying carpet at the time of the Dec. 22, 1992, holdup and produced an alibi witness at trial to confirm his whereabouts. At the time, he was getting his life back on track after convictions for drugs, weapons possession and chain snatching. "I was no angel," he said. "I took the easy way out and I paid for it. But I had given the stuff [drugs] up in the early '90s. I had lost everything that was dear to me."

Wilson served his sentence for the robbery and was released from prison in 2005. But he continued to press legal efforts to throw out the conviction with the help of lawyer Erik Bierbauer. A break came last summer in the decision written by Manhattan Federal Appeals Court Judge Jose Cabranes, who had harsh words for Wilson's defense attorney. "The record indicates that defense counsel misinterpreted and misunderstood the law, failed to pay attention, acted recklessly and did not appreciate the consequences of his actions, even though in many cases he was explicitly warned of the risks by the trial court," Cabranes wrote. The late Queens Supreme Court Justice Charles LaTorella flagged what he considered lawyer Francis GaNun's mistakes during the trial. LaTorella wondered why, for instance, GaNun would allow jurors to see a mug shot of Wilson as well as a police report citing his alleged role in a 1994 construction shakedown. "All I'm going to say to you is, I would not let the jury see this in 10 million years," LaTorella said. GaNun, 75, has since retired. A woman who answered the phone at his home declined to put him on the line. tzambito@nydailynews.com

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

The judges should have made the ethics committees aware of the dumb lawyers. Bad lawyers must be made accountable for their sloppy actions. Hollow words don't help the next victims of bad lawyers.

Anonymous said...

Let's get real. 1995 trial is reviewed by the 2nd Circuit in 2009? At least, the person calling the kettle black was also in black. What's to respect?

retired NYPD said...

What's the real story here? Something else is going on?

Anonymous said...

Wilson was set up and then railroaded. The courts know it and that's when the cover up started to protect their own - circle the wagons the TRUTH IS COMING!!

Anonymous said...

The retired NYPD officer has it right: there is an omission of vital facts as reported by the Daily News. Mr. Erra and a long term Afro-American employee were violently held up at gunpoint by Mr. Wilson and an accomplice, a known junkie from the meighboring projects. This was an in your face crime and neither thugs, both with lenghthy rap sheets, were wearing masks. BOTH VICTIMS identified Mr. Wilson from mug shots in separate rooms at the same time. One or both of these thugs were implicated in a rash of violent hold ups at scrap metal businesses in Brooklyn and Queens. Mr. Erra's case was the one who put Wison away. His accomplice was never arrested. Whether Mr. Wilson's attorney was effective or not is a moot point. Mr. Wilson served time for this crime, but one wonders how many others he got away with.
Mr. Erra ,his father and grandfather were/are beloved by
community folk and were/are generous to familiar neighborhood faces down on their luck.
Footnote: If Mr. Wilson claims he was busy cleaning up his act in 1992, why was he implicatedt again in yet another crime in 1994, as reported by the Daily News, before his trial and conviction in 1995. It seems that both Mr. Wison and the Daily News are turning to desparate measures these days. Much ado about nothing.

step back and take a look said...

Hey, you have to start somewhere. To have the judges (who are lawyers most interested in protecting their own attorney-dirty dogs) say ANYTHING against a person with a law degree is a VERY GOOD THING. Isn't it about the law? Aren't we in the corruption mess we're in BECAUSE lawyers and judges have ignore the rule of law. And worse is the bums (lawyers and judges) just keep their mouth shut. Of course the defendants aren't angels, and they probably belong in jail, but they AND EVERYONE deserves due process and adherence to the rule of law.

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               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
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