The New York Post recently reported that a New York City court reporter has potentially compromised 30 cases—including a number of convictions—because he "went rogue" and opted to write "I hate my job" or hit random keys repeatedly instead of transcribing trial events. The paper said the stenographer, who was later fired, has legal officials in the Manhattan court system frantically trying to undo the mess he caused. The stenographer claimed that he never did anything to compromise the court transcripts and that his alcoholism could have attributed to the overall confusion of the case.
Manhattan judges are now conducting so-called reconstruction hearings in which those who previously were involved in the trial have to testify again and attempt to recall what they said. One conviction that could be affected by the court reporter's actions is a 2010 case involving a man who was convicted of mortgage fraud and attempting to hire a hitman to "take out" a witness. Court officials fear the court reporter's gibberish work may allow criminals to appeal their convictions because the transcripts did not contain evidence, The New York Post said.
Florida's Advocates Against Prosecutorial Misconduct
This is just another example of the bad judgment of people compromising the fairness of our criminal justice system. As St. Augustine criminal defense attorneys, we have seen countless times that proper procedures were not followed during the course of trial. Whether it is a rogue court reporter or improperly obtained confessions, the prosecution's lack of concern can lead to wrongful convictions. As defense attorneys, it is important for us to keep a close eye on the prosecution to make sure their conduct is legal and professional.
When a prosecutor does something unprofessional or illegal, we may be able to challenge such conduct. Lack of professionalism can also happen on the other side of the courtroom. Unfortunately, there are numerous cases where a person may have had an attorney during the initial trial who did not provide an adequate defense and follow proper procedure. If a lawyer during an initial trial did not offer a full defense, the person should look into whether they can appeal their verdict. We can help you with this process.
At Taylor & Waldrop Attorneys, we have more than 30 years of experience handling criminal case appeals in both federal and state courts, including the Florida State Court of Appeals and Florida Supreme Court. If you or a loved one were convicted of a crime and found guilty, you shouldn't lose hope—you may be able to appeal the verdict. Our firm will examine the aspects of the first trial and determine if you can get a new trial. It is important remember that there is a limited time to file an appeal. Getting a knowledgeable attorney as quickly as you possibly can maximizes your chances of a new opportunity for a fair trial.
Please contact us today and find out what an appeals attorney from our firm may be able to do for your case.