A troubling look at Bernie Kerik’s case

Feds Bullied Kerik Into 4-Year Term, Hurting Us All
Andrew Kreig
DC legal reform advocate and attorney

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.

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