Channel 7: WABC News

February 28, 2002

Law Professor Shares His Thoughts On Today's Court Decision

First Reactions

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The decision this morning by the second U.S. Circuit Court of appeals, will likely have people talking all day. Professor Jim Cohen from the Fordham Law School discussed his thoughts on the decision on Eyewitness News at noon.

"The judicial basis for what happened today is that Mr. Schwarz's trial council had a conflict of interest because he represented Mr. Schwarz as well as representing the police union. And the other basis is that the jury was apparently exposed to some prejudicial information during deliberations.

Prejudicial material could mean anything. It could mean media reports that somehow they were exposed to. It could also be that somebody said something to one of them or a family member exposing them to somethings.

As for all three of the men, two of them are off the hook. Insufficient evidence means that their cases have to be dismissed. Mr. Schwarz is eligible to be retried on the original civil rights charges that he was convicted of and that this decision reverses.

As far as Justin Volpe, he has nothing to do with this. Unless, there is a conflict that he is going to claim, again in terms of his representation, he is not involved in this at all."