Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Anomalous Acquittal

It's been less than two weeks since Rensselaer County was rocked by the acquittal of Dwight Singletary, who had been charged with shooting his ex-girlfriend while on work release from state prison. The trial marked the courtroom debut of Rich McNally as District Attorney, and has left little doubt about the legal ineptitude and overall incompetence of the man responsible for protecting the people of Rensselaer County. Today, new details have emerged about just how badly Lunchpail McNally dropped the ball in a case that should have been a slam dunk.

Unbeknownst to the jury, McNally failed to introduce two critical pieces of evidence which elucidated the defendant's actions beyond a reasonable doubt: letters to the victim in which he threatened to kill her and, more importantly, the defendant's confession to a fellow inmate. Normally, such a confession would be easy fodder for a defense attorney; questions about the motives of the inmate, perhaps pursuing an early release or a plea deal, can easily compromise the veracity of their testimony. This was not such an instance. Shortly after the shooting, the defendant arrived at a local Price Chopper seeking employment, at which time he confessed to a fellow inmate who, like the defendant, was on furlough. The inmate in turn notified one of the Price Chopper managers, who documented the inmate's concerns hours before news of the shooting broke.

McNally failed to present either pieces of evidence to the jury, which was roped into the "reasonable doubt" facade constructed by a wily defense attorney. With each passing day, Rich McNally is proving that he's not a soft-on-crime liberal in the tradition of Bob Jacon, but instead someone who was never qualified to serve as District Attorney to begin with.