Our White-Collar Defense Group is also proud of our firm’s commitment to pro bono representation. We serve on the Criminal Justice Act Panel, providing the highest quality defense to indigent individuals facing federal criminal charges. In addition, we often work with Legal Aid to represent defendants on appeal before the New York Court of Appeals and New York State Appellate Divisions.
We recently secured the release on a writ of habeas corpus of Jose Garcia, who had been incarcerated since 1991 for a drug-related homicide in the Bronx. With no conclusive physical evidence, we established through witnesses and documents at a four-day evidentiary hearing that Garcia had been in the Dominican Republic at the time of the homicide for which he was convicted. Following the federal court habeas corpus ruling, the Bronx District Attorney declined to exercise its right to retry Garcia, dismissed all charges against him, and released him from custody. The case and its history were the subject of a lengthy feature article in The Wall Street Journal.
Our attorneys also secured the reversal of a death sentence imposed on Earl Hawkins, a defendant who had been advised by his corrupt attorney that the only path to acquittal was to bribe the presiding judge. Both his lawyer and judge were subsequently convicted on federal corruption charges. Overcoming vigorous opposition by local prosecutors, we persuaded Illinois’ highest court to reverse Hawkins’s conviction and death penalty.