Schwarz: Justice or Technicalities?

Have the Critics Read the Whole Decision?

But the prosecutors knew that Volpe had identified Wiese as the second man—and that Wiese had admitted he was that man. Why didn't the government—in the interest of justice—put that information before the jury? Was due process—fundamental fairness—followed in this case?

The Second Circuit asked another question: Why did Judge Nickerson refuse to allow, as Ronald Fischetti requested after the first trial, an evidentiary hearing on whether that information, if known by the jury, would have affected the Schwarz verdict?

In their decision, the Second Circuit judges said: "The combined effect of Worth's conflict-impaired lone-rogue-cop defense and the jury's exposure to [information that a second officer had been with Volpe in the bathroom] resulted in the "worst of all possible worlds for Schwarz's defense." (Emphasis added).

Ronald Fischetti, lawyer for the Bill of Rights
photo: Pak Fung Wong
Ronald Fischetti, lawyer for the Bill of Rights

At Schwarz's next trial, Volpe and Wiese are likely to testify, and attorney Ron Fischetti will urge the jury to decide—on the basis of their testimony and the Second Circuit's decision—that there is more than reasonable doubt to acquit Charles Schwarz on the violation of Louima's civil rights. I predict the jury will do just that.

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