New York Judge Dismisses 133 Felony Cases
A judge tossed out 133 felony cases Thursday that relied upon the testimony of a former New York City police detective.
Former NYPD Detective Joseph Franco has been accused of providing false testimony in multiple cases between 2011 and 2018. He was fired by the police department in 2020.
On Thursday, Bronx Supreme Court Justice David Lewis dismissed 133 felony cases from between 2011 and 2015 in which Franco’s testimony was key, the Bronx District Attorney’s Office said, according to NBC.
That brings the total of Franco-related cases dismissed in the Bronx to 257, District Attorney Darcel Clark said.
There are another 250 cases under review, which means that 500 cases just in the Bronx could be dropped because of Franco, Clark said, according to the New York Post.
My, What Tangled Webs We Weave When First We Practice to Deceive: Bronx DA Dropping 133 Cases Linked to Indicted NYPD Detective Joseph Francohttps://t.co/Zoxi7xs7mF
— Lorie Meacham (@LorieMeacham) January 22, 2022
There are also cases in Brooklyn and Manhattan that are under review.
Clark said not every case Franco worked is being thrown out.
“We did not want to dismiss or vacate out of hand all cases he was involved in; we investigated those that hinged on his testimony and sworn statements,” Clark said in a statement, according to NBC.
“His compromised credibility suggests a lack of due process in the prosecution of these defendants, and we cannot stand behind these convictions,” he continued.
Franco was charged in 2019 with lying in testimony and in legal documents in which he said he witnessed drug deals that security camera footage showed did not happen.
Franco has pleaded not guilty to the charges, the Post reported. He has a hearing on the charges scheduled for Monday.
Franco’s lawyer, Howard Tanner, has said his client should be afforded the presumption of innocence, according to The New York Times.
“I would therefore ask that the public withhold judgment until all the facts are heard,” Tanner said.
In a 2017 case, Franco said he saw a man selling drugs inside the lobby of a building. Security cameras not only showed no deal took place, but also that Franco never entered the building.
In another case, Franco claimed to have seen a woman selling drugs in the vestibule of a building. Security footage showed Franco never entered the building and could not have seen any sale from the location where he observed her.
“Criminal convictions largely based on the work of corrupt former or active NYPD officers who engaged in misconduct while executing their duties flies in the face of the oaths officers take to protect and serve New Yorkers,” said Elizabeth Felber, director of the Wrongful Conviction Unit at The Legal Aid Society, the Post reported.
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