Well, that was quick.
Yesterday, Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice announced that her office will reinvestigate the Friedman case in light of the Second Circuit's amazing opinion the other day in which the court stated that there was a reasonable likelihood that Friedman is innocent. Here's Rice's statement about the reinvestigation:
"A prosecutor's job is not to obtain convictions, but to obtain justice. I cannot predict whether or not our investigation will corroborate the criminal case brought against Mr. [Jesse] Friedman more than two decades ago. What I can guarantee is that my investigation will be thorough andit will be fair."
Rice is going to assemble a team of prosecutors and a panel of of law enforcement, legal and social science experts to re-examine the case. Petitioner and his attorneys asked for independent/outside prosecutors to do the investigating. But it doesn't look like that's going to happen.
Here's Friedman's statement about the reinvestigation:
"I am concerned, given my history with the Nassau County prosecutor's office, of their ability to conduct a fair review of their colleagues. However, taking Kathleen Rice at her word, I am optimistic and hopeful for the first time in more years then I care to admit."
This really is a gigantically huge development. A reinvestigation as a result of a habeas denial? Just unheard of.
But it's really the right thing to do. And it's a good political move for Rice. It gets her name in the papers right before the elections and she looks magnanimous and fair.
A really exciting week in habeasland.