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Alexandra Shapiro leads another victory at Second Circuit

Recently Alexandra Shapiro was successful in overturning the corruption conviction of Dean Skelos, a former New York state senator and majority leader.  Skelos and his son, Adam Skelos, had been charged in 2015 by the United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) with bribery, extortion and conspiracy relating to accusations that the father’s office pressured a developer, a medical malpractice insurer and environmental company to give his son consulting work that resulted in hundreds of thousands of payments. The father and son were convicted at trial in December 2015. Alexandra represented the ex-senator on appeal and another lawyer represented the son. Both convictions were overturned.  This isn’t the first time Alexandra has been victorious at the Second Circuit.  We have blogged about her seemingly golden touch before in a blog post, Alexandra the Great. The grounds for appeal were largely based on the United States Supreme Case ruling in McDonnell v United States which limited the application of the federal bribery statute 18 U.S.C. §201.  The Court ruled that an official act is a decision or action on a “question, matter, cause, suit, proceeding or controversy” and that it must involve the formal exercise of a governmental power, be something specific and focused that is “pending” or “may by law be brought” before a public official.  The Court clarified that setting up a meeting, talking to another official or organizing an event, without more, does not qualify as an “official act” per McDonnell. In the Skelos appeal, the panel found that the jury instruction given in the Skelos case was too broad, and considering the ruling in McDonnell, the definition of “official acts” provided to the Skelos jury could not be ruled harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. The Skelos appeal ruling was instant big news and reported in the New York Daily News and in the New York Times, where Shapiro was quoted as stating that Dean Skelos was grateful for the ruling and that “[w]e believe that as events unfold, it is going to become clear that this is a case that never should have been brought.” Joon H. Kim, the acting U.S. attorney for the SDNY has already indicated that the office intends to retry the father and son and was quoted in the New York Times as stating, “We look forward to a prompt retrial…” Oddly enough, even former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who no longer would need to comment, felt compelled to weigh in on the ruling on Twitter. Regardless of what the future holds for this case, this victory lap is sweet and another well-deserved win for Alexandra Shapiro, who has her own firm Shapiro Arato, in New York City.  Alexandra continues to be at the center of many of the most influential white-collar appeals in this last decade and she continues to be a shining example of the great work that women are doing in our field. The post Alexandra Shapiro leads another victory at Second Circuit appeared first on Women Criminal Defense Attorneys.
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Joran Van Der Sloot’s U.S. Extradition Set for 2038

Joran van der Sloot is set to be extradited to the United States to stand trial for a crime he allegedly commited in the wake of Natalee Holloway's disappearance. But his extradition won't happen until 2038. Van der Sloot, the main suspect in Holloway's disappearance in Aruba in 2005, will first have to complete his 28-year prison sentence in Peru for killing a 21-year-old woman there in 2010, The Associated Press reports. What's waiting for van der Sloot in 24 years? Extradition for Alleged Extortion, Fraud Van der Sloot was indicted in federal court in Alabama on allegations that he "extorted and defrauded" the mother of Natalee Holloway -- an 18-year-old Alabama girl who went missing in Aruba and whose body has never been found. Extortion, also more commonly known as blackmail, occurs when a defendant extracts money or property from a victim by threat of violence, property damage, harm to reputation, or unfavorable government action. But in van der Sloot's case, he allegedly accepted $25,000 in cash from the Holloways, promising to lead them to their daughter's body -- just before he was arrested for murder in Peru. The Peruvian courts initially approved van der Sloot's extradition to the United States in order to face prosecution for these charges, but Peru's highest court determined that he must serve his sentence for murder first. Van der Sloot confessed to murdering Stephany Flores, 21, a Peruvian student, and was sentenced to 28 years in prison. Van der Sloot has been in custody since 2010 for Flores' murder, so with credit for time served, his 28-year sentence should be completed by 2038. Why Not Extradite Now? Extradition works based on the diplomatic and treaty relations between two nations. There are several countries which have traditionally refused to extradite criminals to the United States, but many of them generally aren't friendly with the United States. Peru isn't one of those countries, and actually has an extradition treaty with the United States. The AP reported in 2012 that Peru's Supreme Court wanted van der Sloot to serve out his sentence before facing justice in the States. Without further diplomatic pressure from U.S. officials, it appears that Joran van der Sloot won't be on trial for allegedly extorting the Holloways for another two decades. Related Resources: Peru agrees to extradite van der Sloot to U.S. ... in 26 years (CNN) Joran van der Sloot's Extradition to US Not a Done Deal (FindLaw's Blotter) Will Amanda Knox Be Extradited? Lawyers Disagree (FindLaw's Blotter) Brit Extradited Over TV Linking Website (FindLaw's Blotter)
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