New York to Pay $3.5 Million Settlement for Prosecutorial Misconduct

Outraged by the lack of disciplinary action against prosecutorial misconduct that cost 13 years of his life, Shih-Wei Su sued, and New York State will now pay him  $3.5 million.

At age 17, Su was convicted of attempted murder and related charges and sentenced to 16 to 50 years in a weak case based on conflicting eyewitness testimony after a pool hall shooting that injured two.

According to his case report by Maurice Possley here, in the National Registry for Exonerations, Su studied law in prison and tried to open the records on the case of the man who had testified and identified Su as involved. Legal Aid attorney Katheryne M. Martrone eventually succeeded, and the records showed that prosecutors had lied about rewarding the witness for testifying against Su.

Su had served 13 years in prison when his conviction was vacated by a federal appeals court acting upon this newly revealed evidence. The Queens prosecutor had both lied about making the deal with the witness and established this lie at trial.

Prosecutors were given 90 days to decide on retrying Su. He was transferred to and locked up in Rikers Island.  The prosecutor sent the message that “they would nail him to the wall unless he made a deal,” according to this New York Times article. The deal was to plead guilty and walk. Su refused. Prosecutors held him at Rikers the full 90 days, but didn’t retry him.

The New York Times article reports that in 80 convictions from Queens that have been overturned by appeals courts for prosecutorial misconduct, the D.A.’s office took no disciplinary action. The Grievance Committee for the Judicial Districts issued a slap-on-the-hand written admonition to the prosecutor in Su’s case. Su’s attorney argued that the D.A.’s pattern of ignoring misconduct set the stage for Su’s wrongful conviction. The D.A.’s office provided a brief response indicating that misconduct is “very rare.”

2 responses to “New York to Pay $3.5 Million Settlement for Prosecutorial Misconduct

  1. They are all liars. Misconduct isn’t rare, but proving it is very rare.

  2. Misconduct appears more often then not, to be SOP (standard operating procedure) or there wouldn’t be a national movement to end absolute immunity for prosecutors. It should be a felony to wrongfully convict a person deserving of prison time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s