Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"These are subtleties. The point is, that it works."

I couldn't make this crap up if I wrote for what once was a newspaper.

"Judge Finds No Ineffective Assistance in Trial Where Defense Lawyer's 'Associate' Was Non-Attorney Felon"

After Kenneth Stevens had been sentenced to 216 months in federal prison, he learned the "associate" who sat second chair at his trial was not in fact an attorney, but rather was a non-attorney convicted felon.

And not just any felon, mind you.

Harvey Alter was "the associate". Harv, unbeknown to the accused or the trial judge, was the former chief of Manhattan House, which at the time was New York's largest halfway house. Harv had pleaded guilty to bribery "for demanding and receiving from [a Manhattan House resident] sexual and sado-masochistic favors in exchange for money, drugs, and [the] promise of favorable treatment," as described by his subsequent appeal of his sentence.

The guilty plea satisfied charges that Alter had coerced sex from at least four residents of the halfway house. (And Harv still appealed his sentence!)

So who is the "trial lawyer" and what's his connection to Harvey the halfway house molester? Stevens was represented by Michael A. Young who referred to Alter throughout the trial as his "associate" and who attended attorney sidebars.

Turns out Young, Stevens' trial counsel, was Alter's partner in Manhattan House, as well as the president of the company that owned the halfway house. The two men shared an apartment in Greenwich Village and Young owned a Fire Island cottage that was the site of the drug-fueled parties detailed in Alter's indictment, according to two stories in Newsday.

Southern District of New York Judge John F. Keenan ruled that the ostensible associate's criminal background and lack of a law degree were insufficient grounds for finding ineffective assistance.


What the hell was everyone thinking? What kind of joy ride with some guy's life was this? What was the genesis of this idea? Why was it fun for Harv the molester? And why did Young entertain the experiment? What is wrong with these people?

And I thought Kubrick was whack.

N.B. "Young, a Manhattan solo practitioner who was admitted to the bar in 1971, was not publicly sanctioned for his actions."

1 comment:

  1. you might be interested to know that Harvey Alter bludgeoned to death his former college room mate and served time in Walpole.