Sheldon Silver and Bill Crosby Could Both Face a Retrial

Man: Quinn and Cantara.

Cantara: It’s 1-800-LAW-1010, Paul Harding from Martin, Harding & Mazzotti on the horn today. Will Shelly Silver get the same treatment in his retrial as Bill Cosby? Will he be guilty? Can that happen, Paul?

Paul: Well, it certainly can happen. You know, the overturning of his previous case had to do with, sort of, kind of, a law that deals with federal services, so it was sort of a technical thing, and it sort of happened nationally. And so, the timing of his trial was really good. But, I get the impression that they’re gonna try the exact same case and not make many changes. They’re just gonna change the…what we call the “jury verdict sheet”, and what the jury is told, and how to apply the law.

Cantara: All right. So, back in 2015, he’s convicted of bribery, but then not long after that a judge narrows…or, the Supreme Court narrowed the legal definition of “public corruption”. So, that was a universal thing. That wasn’t the court working just for Shelly, was it?

Paul: Yeah, it wasn’t a Shelly thing, it was…probably involved Bob McDowell, you know, who was the…

Quinn: Right.

Paul: Yeah. And so, that was the one, but the timing of that, and it also affected trials all over the country. So, the retrial’s gonna be pretty much like the first one, other than it seems like all the players have changed. So, all the lawyers are different, and… Other than the judge being the same, we’ve got lots of new people trying the case.

Cantara: What do you think his attorney meant during opening arguments when he said, “Being distasteful isn’t a crime”?

Paul: Well, their defense was always sort of, “This is the way business is done in Albany,” you know, that he would have…it would be allowed, that he would push certain things toward certain people, and then they would do certain things that would benefit him. But he was saying, “Listen, this is just the way things are done. Nothing out of the ordinary. There’s hundreds of thousands of examples exactly the same, so why are we picking on these two?”

Quinn: If you don’t know the answer to this, that’s fine, I just wanted to ask you this today with regards to the Cosby decision last week as well. The jurors came out and asked the judge for the definition, the legal definition, of “consent”. That’s what it was, it was consent, legal definition of “consent”. And the judge said, “No, you have to use your own common sense,” and then they went back and they found him guilty, and they used… What I read from one juror last…yesterday, they used his mannerisms and what they thought about him as part of the common sense. Does that make sense? Is consent not a legal definition, to consent?

Paul: Yeah, I saw that, too, and there absolutely is a legal definition for “consent” in terms of what age someone can consent. We know that that has to do with the different statutory rape components to it. But consent being, you know, did she…in this case, the Cosby case, did she consent to the interaction with him, or was she so overwhelmed by pills or other things that she just sort of got caught up in it. And so, the judge was saying, “Hey, use common sense as it applies to these facts.” This wasn’t a legal definition of consent because she wasn’t…

Quinn: Okay.

Paul: Yeah. So, but it can get real confusing, and so often what we…what the judge wants is the jury to use their common sense, because the law just says, “Here are the rules. You guys decide if they’ve been violated.”

Cantara: But with your common sense, I mean, I don’t know… There’s no witness to any of that, that’s the problem, right? So, it’s…

Quinn: Yeah.

Paul: Yeah.

Cantara: Words are just words.

Quinn: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So, I don’t know, I thought that was what was the nail in the coffin for Cosby, is allowing the jurors…because then you read the story about them, you know, going and judging him on his mannerisms like you would judge anybody on Facebook or on the TV.

Paul: Yeah, they’re just watching. They’re watching the defendent the entire time, from the time they enter the court room and, you know, they watch and they listen. And really, it does come down to applying law with common sense. It’s sort of the basis of these, you know, juries and what they’re to do. But, if they don’t understand what the law is, that’s when the judge has to give definitions.

Quinn: All right.

Cantara: It sounds like… From what I’m hearing from you, Paul, back to Shelly Silver’s second trial here, that it’s more of the same. So, do you expect the same result, meaning him to walk, him to be free?

Paul: Yeah. No, I think it’s gonna be… Well, again, who knows, but my guess is that there’s enough there that they’re gonna find him guilty of the two things that they’ve laid out, and now we’re gonna have a sentence. And this time, I don’t think the Supreme Court’s gonna come to the rescue.

Cantara: What kind of sentence could he get for this?

Paul: Boy, you know, it depends. He’s 74 years old, that’s always a consideration in sentencing when you’re a little bit older, the same with Cosby. But, you know, it would certainly be…he could get that 8 to 12, or 6 to 10, or something like that, where you serve at least the minimum. But, when you’re 74, you know, that starts to get…come close to…

Cantara: Sure.

Quinn: Right, yeah.

Cantara: You ain’t got time for that.

Quinn: Close to the end zone there.

Cantara: Yeah, right. I don’t wanna punch it in, let’s take a knee and sit out here at the 2-yard line.

Quinn: Exactly.

Cantara: All right. Well, thanks for breaking down, like I said, one of the big stories, Shelly Silver’s second trial here. We’ll see what happens. They’re back in court today.

Quinn: Awesome. Thank you, Paul, appreciate it.

Paul: Thanks, guys, talk soon.

Quinn: 1-800-LAW-1010, Paul Harding right there from Martin, Harding & Mazzotti.