Sunday, September 15, 2013

New York: Charles Hynes, aka "Toast"

The Brooklyn Paper has a wonderful piece of reporting on one Charles Hynes:
... whose 24-year run as a Machiavellian crime-slashing prosecutor came to a screeching halt on Tuesday, when a relatively unknown legal eagle knocked him out. 
The Paper notes Hynes "shot to national stardom at the height of the city’s racial tensions in 1987" after investigating an "infamous fatal beating." He then secured three more murder convictions, "criminalized domestic abuse" and "created the state’s first family justice center."

But, the Paper notes Hynes "wasn’t above exacting vengeance on his political adversaries":
Attorney John O’Hara had been a thorn in the side of Hynes for years in the 1990s, backing candidates against the DA and campaigning against the Democratic Party’s chosen few. So, when he voted in a neighboring election district, Hynes prosecuted him — and won the first case of voter fraud in New York City since Susan B. Anthony in 1873. 
See our coverage of O'Hara's case here. When a civil rights attorney ran against him, Hynes subpoenaed those who signed the petition to get her on the ballot and indicted her on felony charges - although no conviction followed. Hynes had another challenger "declared mentally incompetent."

The Paper reports that, in 2009, CBS "attacked" Hynes' "hotline for Orthodox Jewish abuse cases," claiming "out of a total of 25 calls made over several days, only two were answered." But Hynes then starred in a "short-lived reality show," Brooklyn DA. There followed accusations that he "glossed over sex predators in ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities to pander for votes." Finally, Jabbar Collins was released from prison after serving 15 years for a murder he did not commit. Collins immediately sued Hynes for $150 million for "allegedly manipulating evidence and witnesses." Then David Ranta was released after spending 23 years behind bars on a wrongful murder conviction. Writes the Post, "In an twist, Hynes’ own integrity unit determined the Ranta case was bungled by its boss."

It is clearly time that John O'Hara got the pardon he well deserves. See full story here.

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