Use the following hyperlink http://tobtr.com/s/11403375 to follow the July 17, 2019th Westchester On the Level broadcast “Live” or “On Demand”.
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WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY — Western Michigan University Cooley Law School Tampa Bay campus Professor and former Miami-Dade Judge Jeffrey Swartz is our esteemed guest this Wednesday, Jul 17, 2019 at 10am EST.
Prof. Swartz has provided Westchester On the Level with the following statement with respect to the federal prosecutors filing against Jeffrey Epstein. Discussion will also delve into the ethics and legality of the plea deal reached nearly a decade ago by Epstein and then U.S. Attorney in Miami Alexander Acosta in similar sex related charges.
Prof. Swartz shared these thoughts:
“The original Epstein plea agreement raised eyebrows and was quietly the topic of conversation in South Florida Criminal Law circles (both state and federal prosecutors and defense attorneys) when it occurred. Many questions were asked yet few answers were given.
“Mostly this was a hands on, top-down, decision by Acosta who was known as a Republican operative before his appointment as U.S. Attorney. His involvement, at minimum, could be described as ‘unusual.’
“The Department of Justice should abandon Mr. Acosta, as should the President. He should face the consequences of his acts before the public and ultimately, if warranted, the Florida Bar.
“You can not convict someone based upon reputation, but certainly one can be suspect as a result of the type of reputation Mr. Epstein had and still has. If his actions are as the Southern District Court of New York (SDNY) and the Miami Herald have alleged, then it is abhorrent and deserving of the sanctions he faces. The victims in this case have a right to be heard and not shamed for what happened to them. They should have the right to face all of their abusers (if more than Mr. Epstein), no matter whomever they may be.”
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On June 14, 2019, Alan M. Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law Emeritus at Harvard Law School penned a lede entitled “Acosta’s Resignation May Result in More Losses for ProsecutorsAcosta’s Resignation May Result in More Losses for Prosecutors.” https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/14536/epstein-acosta-resignation
Dershowitz was worried over whether both prosecutors and defense attorneys would be overly impressed and pressured by media and political pressure and thereby exact undue pressure on the scales of justice in exercise of prosecutorial discretion and the decision to try or settle the case.
What options exist for a prosecutor when faced with a weak case involving sexual allegations. Does the public understand the legal process and appreciate the exactitude of the law? Is the disconnect between the public and the law the public not understanding the law? Is the public too quick to take out their anger against the prosecutor because they do not appreciate the weakness of a case and why that is so? What is the cost/benefit analysis of making a deal or taking a weak case to trial and losing?
Does the Epstein case reveal a deficiency in federal law statutes? Is there a difference in state law? Who decides which court is best, for what reason/outcome, and why? Does the fault lie with the law, lawyer, media, or another rationale? What is the takeaway?
Thereafter, Yonkers Tribune Editor-at-Large Hezi Aris engages in local, county, state, national, and international news with commensurate analysis from 10:30am-12Noon.