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"Philly" featured Pace Haub Law School professor Bennett Gershman in "Philly judge cites prosecutorial misconduct, vacates conviction of man who spent 28 years on death row"

02/19/2019

"Philly" featured Pace Haub Law School professor Bennett Gershman in "Philly judge cites prosecutorial misconduct, vacates conviction of man who spent 28 years on death row"

...If that information was available on the public record, the defense lawyer should have uncovered it, agreed Bennett Gershman, a Pace University law professor and expert on prosecutorial misconduct.

Even so, he said, “You could argue the prosecutor should have disclosed it. … Prosecutors often don’t do their duty, and the consequences are sometimes very serious. There are a lot of cases involving innocent people who’ve been convicted because the prosecutor didn’t disclose information. This is a serious problem — one judge called it an epidemic.”

He said such a case should have implications for King’s other convictions being challenged on appeal.

A spokesperson for the District Attorney’s Office declined to comment on any review beyond the scope of this case, and said the office had not yet decided whether it would retry Maisonet for the murder.

Maisonet’s lawyers declined to comment on their outlook for a retrial, or make available Maisonet’s family, including his mother, who still lives in Puerto Rico and is struggling to rebuild after Hurricane Maria.

“For over 28 years, Mr. Maisonet has been forced to spend 23 hours a day in a tiny cell with no human contact," Silverman said. "... We are gratified that Judge O’Keefe and the District Attorney’s Office have carefully reviewed this case and responsibly identified the injustices that were committed.”

Read the full article.