Feds Bullied Kerik Into 4-Year Term, Hurting Us All

Andrew Kreig
Huffington Post
2/19/2010

White Plains, NY – The corruption case of former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik shouldn’t end with the four-year prison sentence imposed on him Feb. 18 here in a federal courtroom.

Even after the prison doors are scheduled to clang shut on Kerik May 17, we in the media need to re-examine how federal authorities can railroad someone like Kerik into a guilty plea this way. The procedures violate my sense of fairness, albeit probably not in a way legally enforceable by anyone if a defendant can’t fight any longer.

U.S. District Judge Stephen Robinson approved unusually aggressive prosecution tactics, such as depriving the defendant of lawyers by designating them as witnesses. Robinson even suggested last fall to the defense that Kerik use a friend of the judge’s if another removal became necessary.

Meanwhile, the judge was crippling the defense by imprisoning Kerik pending trial and berating him in open court as exemplifying “arrogance,” and worse.

On Nov. 5, Kerik admitted to eight felonies. By then, the defendant had spent millions only to conclude he couldn’t direct a successful defense stuck in prison pre-trial. His money was running out, and he still needed to win three trials in two cities, fighting on all fronts.

The article continues at the Huffington Post.

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