The New York Times reports today that a NY Disciplinary Agency has cleared a courageous Manhattan deputy DA who purposely threw a retrial of two murder defendants' convictions in the killing of a bouncer outside a nightclub in 1990.
He said the agency had told him it was investigating whether he had violated a number of ethics rules, including one that requires lawyers to represent their clients zealously.
In his defense, he wrote that he had zealously represented his client: the people of New York. “That client would have been ill served had two innocent men remained in jail for a crime they did not commit,” he said.
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Law professors who debated Mr. Bibb’s actions in blogs and articles last summer remained split when told of the result of the ethics inquiry. Professor Steven Lubet of Northwestern University had criticized Mr. Bibb, saying that while Mr. Bibb saw his client as the people, their elected representative was his boss, Mr. Morgenthau. This week, Professor Lubet said, “Mr. Bibb did something that he felt he needed to do according to his conscience — and it was wrong.”
David Luban of Georgetown University, who had praised Mr. Bibb, called the outcome a good one. He said that prosecutors need not always act as “full-fledged” adversaries.
Tell me again why anyone would think the DA acted unethically? --John