As I reported months ago, Sheldon Silver will walk on appeal. For that matter so will Dean Skelos.
Silver and Skelos had new life in their cases following the Supreme Court throwing out the conviction of ex-Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who had accepted cash, loans and pricey gifts from a rich businessman looking for favors, ruling that simply arranging meetings did not constitute “official acts.”
This mean a new and far narrower definition of “official acts” constituting corruption.
Now the Wall Street Journal is reporting today:
“In a ruling that appears to bolster Sheldon Silver’s appeal of his public-corruption conviction, a federal judge said on Thursday that the former New York Assembly speaker can stay out of prison while he awaits a decision.”
This is important because as the Journal also reports in the same article, “under federal law, a judge should allow a defendant to remain free on bail during an appeal only if there is a substantial likelihood of a reversed verdict or a new trial.”
Federal Judge Valerie Caproni made clear she thinks Silver is guilty but she granted Silver bail, however, over concerns that her instructions to the jury may have been inadequate under the new standards set by the high court.
Bottom line is Silver and Skelos may walk. At a minimum, certainly they will get new trials.