(Update – July 17) – A federal appeals court has overturned former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s 2015 conviction for corruption.
Silver, 73, had been convicted on seven charges of corruption, including accepting over $4 million in bribes and kickbacks, on Nov. 30, 2015.
He was sentenced to 12 years in prison for the crimes.
The appeals court reportedly found the judge’s instructions to the jury in the case had been too broad, and said, had the jury been properly instructed, jurors might not have convicted Silver of the charges.
“We recognize that many would view the facts adduced at Silver’s trial with distaste,” Judge José A. Cabranes wrote in the three-judge panel’s decision. “The question presented to us, however, is not how a jury would likely view the evidence presented by the government. Rather, it is whether it is clear, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a rational jury, properly instructed, would have found Silver guilty.”
However, despite the court’s decision, the panel also found that evidence in the case had been legally sufficient to support a conviction.
As a result, federal prosecutors have said they plan to retry the case.
(From May 3, 2016) – Sheldon Silver, former Democratic speaker of the New York State Assembly, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for corruption May 3.
Silver, 72, was convicted on seven charges of corruption, including accepting over $4 million in bribes and kickbacks, on Nov. 30, 2015.