Thursday, January 8, 2015
Jesse Friedman's Case and the Appearance of Impropriety
The Friedman case continues to be defined by delay. Two years after I posed the question, Is Actual Innocence “Capturing the Friedmans”?, the frustrating answer is: We still don’t know. Below is a tangled story of: evidence withheld by the Nassau County District Attorney’s office from its own case advisory panel; a panelist’s subsequent modification of the panel’s original recommendations; a defamation lawsuit filed by the defense against the DA’s office; the recent election of DA Kathleen Rice to U.S. Congress; and a judge set to hear Friedman’s case, though she worked as an Assistant DA with DA Rice for years.
In the above 2012 article, I summarized the case background:
On November 25, 1987, I was sprawled out on my parents' couch, when my favorite high school teacher appeared on the TV news. Arnold Friedman was a retired NYC instructor who taught computer classes in his home for local kids. I watched as he and his 17-year old son, Jesse, were handcuffed and hauled away for horrific child molestation crimes occurring in their basement. I fell off that couch in disbelief. Arnold and Jesse Friedman each pled guilty to avoid a trial, and Jesse learned of his father's prison suicide in 1995. Since his release in 2001, Jesse has attempted to clear his name, so he no longer must register as a Level 3 violent sexual predator. In 2003, new facts about his case emerged in the Oscar-nominated documentary, , which examined the evidence against the Friedmans and questioned whether any of the allegations against them were truthful. On August 16, 2010, "a reasonable likelihood that Jesse Friedman was wrongfully convicted" and that "the police, prosecutors and the [trial] judge did everything they could to coerce a guilty plea and avoid a trial." That November, the to review the evidence against Jesse.
Click here to continue reading in The Huffington Post