Last Thursday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit found threw out Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s 2015 conviction on corruption charges, citing improper jury instructions in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision involving former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, McDonnell v. U.S. (Read the decision here.)
The federal appeals court panel found that while the evidence presented in the case was sufficient to convict Silver of money laundering, Hobbs Act extortion and honest services fraud, the presiding judge did not properly instruct the jury on the charges of honest services fraud and extortion.
The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York immediately announced that his office plans to retry the case.
Read reaction – and the calls for updating and improving the state’s anti-public corruption laws – in the Times Union (“Editorial: Revisit anti-corruption laws“); the New York Times (“ Silver’s Reprieve a Reminder That Albany’s ‘Watergate Moment’ Didn’t Stick”); and the Poughkeepsie Journal (“Editorial: Help prosecutors make political corruption cases stick”).