Corasanti Acquitted

An Erie County jury yesterday acquitted Dr. James Corasanti of 2nd degree vehicular manslaughter, 2nd degree manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in death without reporting it, and two counts of tampering with evidence. He was convicted of one lesser, misdemeanor charge of DWI.

The vehicular manslaughter charge requires a finding of “criminal negligence“, which basically means he fails to see or perceive something that he should have, and that his failure to do so represents a “gross departure” from the reasonable person standard of care. If the defendant was DWI, there is a rebuttable presumption that his mental condition contributed to the death. 

The 2nd degree manslaughter charge requires a finding of “reckless” culpable conduct. As compared with criminal negligence, recklessness requires a finding that the defendant was aware of a substantial risk of unnecessary harm, and disregarded it. 

In this case, Corasanti took the stand – something he was under no obligation to do as a criminal defendant. His legal team took a calculated risk in exposing him to the scrutiny of cross-examination, and it was completely up to the jury whether to believe him when he said he didn’t see Alix Rice on her longboard; that he didn’t know he had hit a person – much less killed her; that he wasn’t drunk; that he wasn’t texting; that he wasn’t speeding or weaving. The jury bought it. 

That’s not the fault of the prosecution, or the judge, or the jury. That’s no one’s fault at all. That’s just how it shook out.

Mad at Corasanti? Of course. He hit and killed a girl with his car. Privileged rich guy with a 5-series and a low-number EC license plate. The very embodiment of local WNY monied privilege. But that wasn’t the issue – whether he committed that act, but whether he had the culpable mental conduct in doing so that would justify sending him to jail.  His wealth and prominence weren’t an issue, either in the commission of the crime. Mere accident, or something that would have/could have been prevented had Corasanti acted like any reasonable person? This jury found that this was a tragic accident, not one punishable by jail time – not one that he could have prevented. 

Face it – if you were in Corasanti’s shoes, you’d have paid every penny to buy the best damn criminal defense you could afford, too. 

Alix Rice, via Facebook

A jury is specifically instructed – carefully selected – to be impartial; to set aside prejudices or sympathies they may have. They most certainly didn’t insult the memory of Alix Rice last night – they couldn’t have; weren’t allowed to.  The judge explicitly told them to set any such feeling aside. Juries aren’t supposed to convict people because they feel badly for the victim or her family. Juries aren’t supposed to convict people because popular opinion will be outraged at what they did. Juries aren’t supposed to decide based on sympathy or empathy. 

Juries are specifically instructed to analyze the facts presented to them in the courtroom, and apply the law to the facts as they find them. Jurors are uniquely empowered to make determinations about the credibility of evidence and witnesses before them. This jury worked hard and did what was asked of them. They were careful, methodical, and thoughtful. They analyzed the evidence. It just so happened that they had what they considered to be a reasonable doubt about Corasanti’s guilt on the homicide counts. 

They apparently found that Corasanti never saw Rice – that she was operating her longboard in such a way that she was very difficult to be seen. They may have found that Rice contributed to her own death by the way in which she was operating the longboard. That’s enough to conclude that Corasanti was neither criminally negligent nor reckless. 

But the public outcry – it’s totally reasonable for people to be outraged. A young girl is dead, and a wealthy, prominent person was able to buy himself the best local criminal defense team he could afford. In this case, he probably dropped six figures to buy accident reconstructionists, expert witnesses, and some of the most effective criminal defense lawyers in town. Is it fair? Are the people who are outraged going to agitate to change the laws so that indigent or middle-income criminal defendants have equal access to expert defense witnesses?  A turning point in this case was the expert testimony that Rice’s longboard may have veered across the fog line into Corasanti’s path. That testimony cost a lot of money, and likely saved Corasanti from prison.

Left the body in the brambles? Call Joel Daniels. Caught by a sleuth? Call Cheryl Meyers-Buth. Need a jury uncertain? Call Tom Burton. 

Most people would have probably taken a plea. This trial was a huge gamble. A massive risk. All or nothing for Corasanti. Insert your big-win-gambling-analogy here. 

Had Alix Rice ran down a prominent doctor late at night after leaving “martini night” at a friend’s house, and registering a .1 BAC a few hours later have gotten away with it? We’ll never know, but I doubt it. Maybe it depends on the defense her family could have afforded. 

Justice? Justice is what you make of it. Corasanti probably thinks he found justice. Supporters of Alix Rice don’t. But this isn’t over. Civil suits have been brought against Corasanti on behalf of Rice’s estate. There, the standard of proof for a plaintiff is significantly lower than in criminal court. Corasanti may never go to jail, but depending on how well-insured he is, he very well may be financially destroyed. If his personal assets are exposed, all his wealth will be at risk, his future and his legacy demolished. Is that justice? 

After the verdict, Corasanti’s legal team started in with “nobody’s a winner here” and other mouth-noises about how sad this all is for everybody. I’d suggest that the legal team is better at defending criminals than public relations. Now is a great time for them to keep quiet. No one wants to hear their platitudes about winning and losing. Quite palpably, Dr. Corasanti is the winner and Alix Rice is the loser. Corasanti woke up this morning in his own home, convicted only of a first-offense misdemeanor. He’s surrounded by his wife and family. Alix Rice remains dead, her life gone, her future destroyed, her friends and family even more distraught and filled with loss. It’s quite clear that there was a winner and a loser in this case. Corasanti’s team should dummy up and let Rice’s family grieve, and let her supporters be outraged. 

Judge DiTullio did not allow reporters to live-blog or Tweet during the trial. She didn’t allow the proceedings to be televised, as is the norm in New York State. I think it’s long past the time to change that rule. If we’re going to subject ourselves to criminal trial porn, then it’d be helpful if the general public was better informed about what was going on in court, in real time. 500-word summaries of a day’s worth of testimony don’t cut it. Unless you were in that courtroom for the entirety of the proceedings, you have only a generalized, condensed idea what that jury saw and heard. Court proceedings are public in nature, but the public works for a living. It’s time New York changed its rules to permit electronic media in court as a general rule, and leave judges discretion to exclude them, not the other way around. 

Please don’t vilify the jurors. They did what they were supposed to do, and they did it thoughtfully. You can disagree with their verdict, but they aren’t the bad guys and they aren’t your enemy. If jurors start fearing for their lives or start getting harassed because they fulfilled their civic duty, you deal a blow to our system – an imperfect one in an imperfect world.  Please, media, stay away from the roadside shrine to Alix Rice. Let people grieve and remember in peace. Get man-in-the-street voxpops somewhere else. Anywhere else. 

Lawyers win, lawyers lose. Juries get it right, juries get it wrong. The guilty go to jail, and the guilty get off. The innocent get off, and the innocent go to jail. The innocent sometimes die. Life isn’t fair, money is important, and sometimes things don’t go the way you expect them to go. As long as the matter was tried fairly – and no one, anywhere, has suggested otherwise – we must accept what happened last night. We don’t have to like it, and we can analyze it every which-way, but if you’re ever charged with a crime, you’ll come to appreciate the inherent fairness of our system, and the protections it affords the accused.  Neither sending Corasanti to jail, nor sending him to the poorhouse will ever bring Alix Rice back. But the latter will make him literally pay for what he did that night. 

After all, the jury in the civil suit will only need to find that he was culpable for Alix Rice’s death by a preponderance of the evidence, a lower standard than that within which the criminal jury worked. 

Perhaps then, the public will feel that justice has been done. 

//

45 comments

  • “Lawyers win, lawyers lose. Juries get it right, juries get it wrong. The guilty go to jail, and the guilty get off. The innocent get off, and the innocent go to jail. The innocent sometimes die. Life isn’t fair, money is important, and sometimes things don’t go the way you expect them to go. As long as the matter was tried fairly – and no one, anywhere, has suggested otherwise – we must accept what happened last night.”

    Alan, I don’t think you’d write the above paragraph about any other part of our civic or public policy life – not taxes, civil rights, environmental justice, going to war, or a host of other topics. Why so cest-la-vie about the law? Honest question. The easy answer is because you’re mired down deep in it, and one tends to be forgiving of the system that you are a part of, but I’d be curious if there is more.

    • You’re not entitled to a fair or pleasing outcome. You’re entitled only to a fair trial before an impartial judge and jury. The system is designed to protect the accused, not to vindicate the victim. 

      Simple as that. 

      • I don’t doubt that this individual trial was completed as fairly as possible. I doubt that the aggregation of trials throughout the system could be described as fair. The public anger about this victim has conflated this trial with the overall system. Your piece defends both, but the specific portion I pulled out seems breezy about the aggregate too.

        I’ll try an anaology. Apple doesn’t pay its fair share in taxes. I could defend their tax return line item by line item, or I could look at the system. When some people pay their fair share in taxes, and some not enough, and the poor too much, you get angry in your writing, not breezy. Why a different treatment for the law?

        • Our system of taxation is fluid and changes myriad ways every single year, if not every single day. It is subject to political whims and trends. 

          Our system of criminal jurisprudence is one that is based on a thousand years’ worth of hands-on experience and precedent. It very specifically should not be subjected to the whims of politics or politicians. Like I said, it’s not the best system possible, but it’s the one that works for us. In fact, the way in which we practice it now is something that we specifically cited as a reason for becoming independent from Britain. 

          • People (myself included) are outraged that Alix did not “receive justice”, yes.  But aside from James killing someone, he still acted like an irresponsible citizen when he did not get out of his car after the collision.  Even if he had hit a inanimate object, he did not act in accordance with the law.  I get out of my car and look at it after I drive through  a big pothole for gosh sakes… He either knew he hit something and chose not to do his civic duty and investigate it… Or his senses are so deadened by alcohol and old age that he should not have a drivers license anyways. Like you said, the courts are not in place to vindicate the victims, but to systematically punish individuals who commit crimes.  

            Not everyone who is so angry with the verdict is trying to vindicate Alix…

            Some of us are concerned for our own safety walking down the street after the biggest deterrent of crime–criminal prosecution–failed miserably  in the most public fashion possible.

          • Interesting comment from a lawyer who tried the Trayvon Martin case himself based on media reports (some tampered with) in an article written March 22.  Why not let the jury decide that case as well in your beloved judicial system, which I believe is the best in the world.  What about Daniel Adkins?  How come President Obama has not sent the DOJ to investigate that shooting?  Is it because the shooter looks like he
            could be  President Obama’s son?  Why no blogs from the left over this outrageous killing?  Where is Jesse and Al?  I’ll end with a bit of humor.  What would they call Corasanti in Massachusetts?  Senator!

  • Thanks for a well reasoned analysis of all sides of this case Alan. I also agree that proceedings should be more accessible to the public for all cases, not just high profile ones like this. Personally, I’d love to have access to information that isn’t distorted by our local media and their spin. 

    I hope that the party Mr. Corasanti threw last night was a nice one, because he probably won’t have many more once the civil trial cleans out his bank accounts. 

  • Thank you Alan.

    The emotional, unthinking attacks on the jury make me heartsick.

  • Well said, I think those of us seeing it on tv coverage get a window the jurors don’t seem, so it can be really easy to grab the torches and pitchforks based on the mcnuggets presented on the evening news. Your blog is must reading for a fuller understanding

  • Alan or Brian castner. Did either of you see this? Interesting take from a lawyer on the People’s Law.

    http://lessig.tumblr.com/post/24065401182/commencement-address-to-atlantas-john-marshall-law

  • It is hard to know from the coverage in the News, but I think it may e fair to say that the DA’s office dropped the ball on this.

  • “Face it – if you were in Corasanti’s shoes, you’d have paid every
    penny to buy the best damn criminal defense you could afford, too. ”

    Most people believe they wouldn’t have been been speeding and texting while drunk.  Most people believe that if they were to hit something/someone, they would have stopped and called an ambulance. Most people believe they would not have tampered with evidence. Most people believe they would feel overwhelming guilt and sadness for what they did. So, they don’t feel as if they ever would have been in Corasanti’s shoes…and if they were, they know they can’t afford a defense like this.

    The outrage is a combination of moral loathing of Corasanti and a jealousy of his means to defend himself in ways they can’t.

    If in his shoes (but without his means), the overwhelming majority of us would be left with little choice other than to plea it out and spend a few years in jail after our low rent-to mildly competent attorney negotiated with the DA. Why? Because we can’t afford to pay a guy like Daniels. So, Corasanti gets access to another tier of the criminal justice system because he’s wealthy.

    It sucks to have it thrown in our face that we have a two-tiered legal system, especially in such an emotional case.

    • George_Jefferson

      “If in his shoes (but without his means), the overwhelming majority of us would be left with little choice other than to plea it out and spend a few years in jail after our low rent-to mildly competent attorney negotiated with the DA. Why? Because we can’t afford to pay a guy like Daniels. So, Corasanti gets access to another tier of the criminal justice system because he’s wealthy.”

      EXACTLY!!!!

    • Two tiered? Maybe. Daniels et al didn’t do anything that a competent defense attorney couldn’t have figured out with enough experience or advice. The biggest difference is the accident reconstructionist, who probably cost $20-30k or so, at most.

      As I wrote above, if you think that every defendant should have access to the very best local criminal defense attorney and the very best or most persuasive expert witnesses, you have to change some things. As it stands now, you have a judicial system that can’t afford to keep jurors around to deliberate past 8:30pm for fear of incurring deputy overtime costs. 

      • We can’t legislate or require that everyone have a defense of equal quality. The best we can do is legislate/regulate that everyone be given the same basic rights and access to some sort of defense, and we do generally do that.

        With that in mind, I don’t think it stretches credulity to say we have a two-tiered system. If you can afford better attorneys, you’re more likely to get off. If you commit white collar offenses, your punishment is less severe than those who commit blue collar offenses. The system punishes those of color more severely than white people, etc. The justice system is inherently flawed and it’s open to being gamed by people of means. Sadly, there’s not much we can do about that without breaking all the good things about it.

        I know what I learned from all of this. Pretend it didn’t happen, gather myself, lawyer up right away, don’t say a fucking thing to anyone, refuse all tests, mortgage the house to hire the best attorney I can, and hope for the best.

        A friend of mine is a well-respected criminal defense attorney in Chicago and he long ago recommended that I watch this video and take it to heart. Don’t ever talk to a cop about anything at anytime…ever.  And after you’re done not saying a god damned thing, call your attorney. Nothing good can come of dealing with the police.

  • Everybody Hurts

     http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Ud-p0jds3S4

  • The more I think about all this, the more I’d love to know, with specifics,  what the hell the defense put up, and what  Corasanti himself said on the stand. I’m having a difficult time reconciling the fact that the jury agreed that he was drunk, hence the DWI conviction, but that  intoxication had no relevance to the accident. 

    Heck, the definition of culpability Alan linked seems to fit this to a T! Corasanti ingested alcohol knowingly, willingly, and not under duress or coercion.  How can a licensed medical doctor NOT be aware that driving while impaired/intoxicated creates ‘a substantial risk of unnecessary harm’?

    I’m inclined to agree with Chris here. Us common folks wouldn’t have been able to hire expert witnesses to make the argument Alix was riding in the wrong place, and anyone could have hit her. Us common folk wouldn’t have been able to afford a continual stream of bullshit thrown at the jury to muddle the facts just enough to create reasonable doubt. 

  • Thank you, Alan.  I  only wish people would come together and reflect on how many people drink and drive and how many deaths occur as a result.  If we put our energies into becoming a community with a culture that focuses on not drinking and driving, that to me would be some form of justice.  Prevent other kids from winding up dead in ditches.  But we’re too busy being Tom Baurele/Sandy Beach’s angry, uninformed audience instead of doing something proactive.  Sad all around indeed.  To the naysayers – Maybe Corasanti wasn’t drunk at the time of the incident.  Maybe Alix shouldn’t have been skateboarding in the dark.  However, a little less drinking and driving around here wouldn’t be a bad thing at all.

  • I am of the opinion that when you are operating two tons of steel at 40 mph, your first responsibility is to be aware of what’s in front of you. “I didn’t see her” should be viewed as an admission of negligence, not as a positive defense. Perhaps the law currently doesn’t accord with that view, but that’s how I see it.

    I agree with Chris about the two-tier system as well. A public defender would not have been able to mount the defense that Corasanti’s legal team did.

    • There have been many times at night when I was driving that I didn’t notice walkers or bike riders on the shoulder of the road until I was very close to them.  They were often wearing dark clothing, walking or riding side by side instead of single file, having no lights or reflectors on their bikes, and on top of this, dark roads.  I am sure I am not the only one who has experienced this.  Even during the daytime you have kids playing sports in the streets and they refuse to move aside for drivers.  I am not sure the jury got the verdict right because I was not in the court room to hear the testimony.  But I think of those kids I did not see on the side of the road at night and can understand how this could happen.

  • I “understand”  the difficulty with the neglegent homocide charges – but what of leaving the scene and tampering with the evidence?

    •  The prosecution’s own witnesses (i.e., the cops) rolled over on the evidence tampering charge.  On cross-examination one cop admitted that it didn’t look like anyone had made any attempt to hide or destroy the tissue that was originally on the hood of the car.

      And this brings up another problem – the prosecution likely over-reached on some of the charges. Any trial attorney will tell you that you can cost your entire case credibility by spending too much time trying to prove the weakest part of your case.  The prosecutors should have let the evidence tampering charge go.

      • reasonable1290

        Can the public appeal to Judge DiTullio to impose the one year sentence for the DWI charge?

        •  I would imagine that Rice’s family will be given an opportunity to speak at Corasanti’s sentencing.  The DA will argue as well.  Anyone can write to Judge DiTullio, if they feel so inclined, and ask her to apply a particular sentence.

  • The comments from the jury foreman in the News today are…concerning.

    They let him off because they didn’t believe that Carasanti actually HEARD that he hit a human being, and they didn’t think he would have noticed the crumpled hood from behind the wheel. 

    I’m sorta stunned. The foreman’s comments pretty clearly show that common sense was tossed out the window, and the jury was swayed by the expensive, paid for defense experts, as opposed to the impartial law enforcement agencies who investigated the case.

      • If I’m on that jury, and a defense witness calls that a ‘light hit’ , as Mr. 
        Meinschein does, I’m pretty sure I discount everything else that guy says. 

      • You can tell that it wasnt a slight hit because that would involve going under the wheel he had to have been swerving off the road to make this kind of hit. Ive had friends get tickets for texting and driving in to a accident that where worse then what this guy got off on and they didnt flee the scene or blow .10 5 hours later.

      • A deer hit me on my driver’s side back door one night on Transit and Bullis in 1999. I heard a huge THUMP and PULLED OVER RIGHT AWAY!   I didn’t leave the scene because I thought I hit something when in reality something hit me. My dad came to get me and saw that my whole door was dented in (cops aren’t involved unless a carcass is still on the road and you hit the animal).  I fail to understand, why did this fool keep on driving?   That dent shows he knew he hit something!

  • As ridiculous as it sounds, in a death case, civil damages in New York State are limited to what a jury can quantify regarding conscious pain and suffering, and the value of earnings that would have contributed to the decedent’s family.  In this case, the defense will argue that Alix died instantly and thus, did not suffer. Also, they will argue that she was not financially contributing toward the care and welfare of her family as she was only an 18 year old pizza parlor worker.  If you are as outraged as I am, help to convince our legislators to change these laws as well.

  • which was my point above when I stated I pulled over after a deer hit and damaged my car. I thought I hit something and didn’t want to leave the scene of an accident.  Is this man above the law that he can do that AND clean the flesh off the hood of his car when he got home?

  • Well done.Article generated a thoughtful discussion rather than a lynch mob. Do not blame jury system.DA ALSO SELECTED JURY.The full resources of da office were used and they over estimated their case.This was a rout jury came back quickly so their is something wrong with the proof .Alix was wonderful girl and her parents have class             

  • You telling me you hit a 150 lb. object with any car and don’t feel a shudder? I know that road, the spot she was hit and the car he drove. I lived for 5 years at the corner 50 feet from the point of impact. Something is very wrong here.

    • i hear Dr. Corasanti will be the new celebrity spokesperson for Towne BMW.
      they’ve actually found someone MORE repellent than Billy Fucillo to pimp cars!

  • Last night I had to explain to my 16 year-old son, who told me “well the jury found him not guilty?” –  that the minute you get behind the wheel of an automobile you have the responsibility and the obligation to be 100% aware of your surroundings at all times. While this 100% might not always be attainable at all times it should never be hindered because of a choice to impair your judgment.

    I told my son it is very simple: The FACTS – Corisanti is a DOCTOR and took an oath to “do no harm” – impossible if you choose to drink and drive! He was drunk and so far over the legal limit he was still drunk 5 hours later. He got behind the wheel of a car. He was speeding and texting. He left the scene of the accident and then, after saying he “didn’t see her”, it is discovered that he erased text messages, he tried to clean up the mess.

    These are the facts that the public knows about – these alone should have found him guilty on at least these illegal offenses. I am very sad about the loss of life here but my outrage does not stem from that. It is from the knowledge that a jury, and yes I am bothered by the jury, could not find him guilty on all the offenses the public knows about. The in-your-face infractions. What does that leave us? It leaves us with the knowledge that people can always be swayed in a certain direction given that enough bullshit (excuse the language) is thrown at them.

    I think what bothers  me the most is that being the mother of a 16 year-old son, I have to explain, or try to explain, this situation and have him understand it is NOT ok to drink and drive. It is NOT ok to not act responsible when you are behind the wheel of a car. AND, I have to worry that while he’s out there on his bike, or long board, he runs the risk of being hit by a drunk doctor (or anyone who can afford to bullshit their way out of an obvious criminal offense), who will never see the full force of consequence for his actions.

    What are the examples we are setting for our children? It is a travesty!

  • tonyintonawanda

    Alan, while I agree with your premise, I am now very distraught after hearing interviews with the jurors.  It’s clear Corasanti got lucky and 12 less than intelligent folks were picked for this jury.  The foreman talked about the blood test “could have been tainted, I said could.” 

    Seriously?!?!  That is the standard they applied?   Anything is truly possible, but probable?  But reasonable?  There are infinite “possibilities” that include another BMW actually committed the crime and Dr. Corasanti actually did hit something else?  Not 99.999 percent likely, but I guess possible.

    Clearly the Judge failed in her instructions to the jury or once the jury got into deliberations, they were just too dumb to understand the actual standard.  Either way, I would have been more accepting of the verdict if these jurors had explained their decision based on some aspect of reasonable doubt….not the possibility the blood tube was contaminated in a “you know, it’s not inconceivable, well maybe, I’m not really sure, who really knows, these things can happen” sort of way.

    I was all for not lynching them….but I’m starting to change my mind, if nothing else than for the sake of the gene pool

  •  i think you really dropped the ball here Alan.  there is no discussion of the deplorable state of our every day more complex, byzantine, and oppressive legal system ~ which more often than not, get’s it horribly wrong, especially if you are middle class or, god forbid, ethnic poor.  

    everything you say here is well reasoned,  but does this mean we should accept this broken justice system warts and all, and not demand reform?  where’s the outrage?  where’s the call for change?

    the legal profession will  never ‘reform itself’ in any fashion that it cannot BILL FOR, or does that does not increase it’s reach and scope into our lives.  life is not fair, that is an immutable reality.  
    the legal system is a man made construct, a for-profit scheme, which can, and must be reformed, changed, and fixed if we hope to proceed, or even survive as a just society.

    i’m fed up with complacent sentiments like “that is the way the system works” or “the lawyers were  just doing their jobs”.  it’s an offensive “good German” defense, and it’s as heinously deplorable today in this instance, as it was back then.

    “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation.  We must always take sides.  Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.  Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
    ~ Elie Wiesel

  • as my friend Ed pointed out in a discussion of this matter ~  “Yes, Paul, legal
    professionals (including good guys) have indeed adopted a very
    condescending attitude towards all us upset ignorant laypeople, while at
    the same time trying to explain to us how well the jury system
    (although drawn from the ranks of us ignorant laypeople) always works.”

  • Object lessons :  1. Don’t allow the Amherst Police or the Erie County DA to selectively release what they view as conclusive “evidence” to pollute the information stream, leading to;  2. an irresponsible media hungry for a morality  play and eyeballs for their ill informed,  ignorant reportage of this case;  
      Don’t express outrage when 1 and 2 have occurred and a group of apparently impartial citizens differs with the mob after actually hearing admissible evidence over a 3+ week trial, during which  the same media have continued their biased coverage. As in self fulfilling prophecy.Question:  why didn’t the EC DA  anticipate the use of experts by the defendant, and spend some money getting his own.  And don’t tell me an Amherst traffic cop is an expert. If he was regarded as such, maybe the People win. Oh, and with respect to outrage,  5 people were shot in MLK Park a couple weeks ago. And every week lots of inner city kids are shot and or killed.  Where’s The News on this, or the TV stations?   Donn Esmonde spike his outrage column?  It seems the Natalee Holloway principle is at work here. Attractive teenage girl disappears (hit by car in this case)  hold the presses. 

    The News’ web presentation featuring Donn et al. was a particularly low point in its coverage. What do these people add to any conversation beyond  the braying of a faux vox populi.  

  • The jury did it’s job. It did not cave in to the intense pressure to vilify the doctor. They obviously sat through a different trial than that ‘reported’ by Mr. Lakamp. They heeded the judge’s instructions and kept emotion out of the case. For ‘son of Chickie’ to say that Alix did not get justice is shameful and disrespectful to a group of citizens who called it as they saw it. Mr. Bargnesi’s style could use some refinement—-not every criminal defendant is a scumbag worthy of being pissed upon in open court.

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