Poll

Will Hiram Monserrate survive and be re-elected to the NYS Senate?

Yes
2 (13.3%)
No
13 (86.7%)

Total Members Voted: 15

Author Topic: Monserrate Trial and Expulsion  (Read 33044 times)

Offline StevenGrey

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« Last Edit: March 03, 2010, 01:43:54 AM by toddg »

Offline Queenskid

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Re: Latest News on the Monserrate Trial
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2009, 02:13:21 PM »
I'm kind of shocked.  I always thought that his best chance would be to get a jury--or even just a few jurors--that would look past the obvious holes in his story and find a reasonable doubt.  Instead, he gets a judge who has said, on the record, that the video of the incident's aftermath makes the "blood boil" (the judge had such a negative reaction to the video that he refused to release it to the media because he thought it would poison the jury pool).

Despite the fact this judge is a former Legal Aid lawyer,he has a terrible reputation with the defense bar when it comes to domestic violence cases.  He's seen as a hanging judge.  This is a real roll of the dice on Monserrate's part.

Offline earbears

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Re: Latest News on the Monserrate Trial
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2009, 08:55:18 AM »
I think that Monserrate is afraid of public opinion of his recent wonderful performance in Albany.
If he just read some of the posts on this site (and some were mine) then he would be fearful of the public opinion.
And I thought he didn't think we really mattered!  :tickedoff:

Offline earbears

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Re: Latest News on the Monserrate Trial
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2009, 04:07:48 PM »
Monserrate the weasel: Senator waives jury trial in slashing, avoiding judgment by his peers
Editorials 

Tuesday, September 15th 2009, 4:00 AM


State Sen. Hiram Monserrate delivered a slap in the face to his Queens constituents yesterday as he went on trial for allegedly slashing his girlfriend with a jagged piece of glass.

Monserrate chose to have a judge decide guilt or innocence, rather than put his fate in the hands of a jury. So much for having faith in the ability of his constituents to mull the evidence fairly.

While he was within rights to avoid having his conduct reviewed by peers, it must be noted that the senator successfully objected to the release of key video evidence on the ground that the tape would prejudice potential jurors.

According to prosecutors, the tape shows Monserrate manhandling his girlfriend in a stairwell in the hours before the alleged slashing. Monserrate's judge, who viewed the video, says "it causes the blood to boil."

Bottom line: Monserrate manipulated the proceedings with a claim that he would never be able to get an impartial jury if the tape came out, and then fled from standing before the citizenry when forced to trial.

Par for the course with this guy.


Offline Jeffsayyes

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Re: Latest News on the Monserrate Trial
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2009, 08:57:05 PM »
hopefully he doesn't have any influence with the judge.

Offline Aronan

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Re: Latest News on the Monserrate Trial
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2009, 02:03:08 AM »
The judge is reputedly very tough on domestic violence cases and has already said that the video he has seen "makes the blood boil".

I'm not quite sure what Monseratte's strategy is in this whole situation, any one care to hazard a guess ?
"It is widely recognized that the courageous spirit of a
single man can inspire to victory an army of
thousands. If one concerned with ordinary gain can
create such an effect, how much more will be produced by one who cares for greater things ?" -Chunag Tse

Offline KC

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Re: Latest News on the Monserrate Trial
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2009, 02:07:41 PM »
I'm still thinking brain tumor.  His behavior is just too too too wierd. 

Offline earbears

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Re: Latest News on the Monserrate Trial
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2009, 03:43:19 PM »
I'm still thinking brain tumor.  His behavior is just too too too wierd. 

Brain tumor!  I love it!!! :2funny:

Offline francis

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Women’s Group Presses Judge in Monserrate Trial
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2009, 06:58:36 PM »
http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/18/monserrate-judge/
The National Organization for Women in New York State is calling on the judge trying State Senator Hiram Monserrate on domestic violence charges to give him “the maximum sentence allowable by law.”

But Mr. Monserrate has not yet gone on trial on charges that he slashed his companion’s face during an argument on Dec. 19 — that starts on Monday in State Supreme Court in Queens. And he certainly has not been convicted.

To the outrage of his lawyers, the women’s group is asking its supporters to reach out to the jurist who is hearing the case as judge and jury. Mr. Monserrate decided this week to have his guilt or innocence decided by a judge in a bench trial rather than by a 12-member jury of his peers.

“Call or write the Honorable William M. Erlbaum,” the women’s organization told supporters in e-mail messages this week. “Send a message that violence against women must be stopped and perpetrators must be brought to justice.”

It included a template for sending a message to Justice Erlbaum that concluded: “I implore you to do the right thing by punishing Senator Monserrate, giving him the maximum sentence allowable by law. By doing so, you will be sending a very important message and that is that violence against women is a serious crime.”

Joseph Tacopina, Mr. Monserrate’s lead lawyer, who was alerted to the campaign by one of the senator’s constituents who had received the appeal, called it “inappropriate, improper and offensive” and said he would offer a legal objection when the case opens on Monday.

“They’re trying to improperly persuade the fact finder,” Mr. Tacopina said in an interview. “It’s akin to writing a letter to a juror.”

Marcia Pappas, the president of the women’s organization in New York State, acknowledged the campaign to influence Justice Erlbaum, saying in an interview, “We’re imploring him to do the right thing.”

She said the campaign was nothing unusual for what she called “an activist organization” that has often written to family court judges in child custody cases.

“I’m sure the judge knows what he needs to do, so his position is not compromised,” Ms. Pappas said.

Asked for comment, Justice Erlbaum said through a clerk that it would be inappropriate to respond.

David Bookstaver, a spokesman for the state’s Office of Court Administration, called the matter “an intriguing question,” but he said contacting a judge about a case did not carry the same strictures as contacting a juror.

“Judges who are conducting bench trials use the same guidance they give juries, which is not to be influenced by any external factors but to consider only the evidence before them,” Mr. Bookstaver said. “While it is improper for anyone to contact a sitting juror, judges are in fact public officials with public addresses. There is no way to prevent members of the public or concerned groups from attempting to contact them.”

In accepting Mr. Monserrate’s application last Monday for a nonjury trial, Justice Erlbaum warned the senator that “in a bench trial, I wear two hats: I get to see all the evidence, even impermissible evidence.” He said he would seek to separate his legal responsibilities as judge and jury, “but the same corporeal human being has seen and heard all the evidence.”

Mr. Monserrate, 42, was charged with three counts of felony assault and three counts of misdemeanor assault for what prosecutors said was his slicing of the face of his companion, Karla Giraldo, 30, with a broken drinking glass after he found another man’s card in her purse. He has pleaded not guilty, and he and Ms. Giraldo have called the injury, requiring 20 stitches, an accident that happened when Mr. Monserrate tripped as he carried her a glass of water.

Scenes of an apparent argument were caught on videotape at Mr. Monserrate’s Jackson Heights apartment. Ms. Giraldo made conflicting statements to hospital workers suggesting in part that the injury was not accidental, prosecutors said.

If he finds Mr. Monserrate guilty of felony assault, Justice Erlbaum could sentence him to up to seven years in prison. He could also find him guilty on lesser misdemeanor counts or acquit him.

The women’s organization has previously called on the State Senate to oust Mr. Monserrate, a Democrat whose defection to the Republicans with a fellow Democrat last June handed control briefly to the Republicans and threw Albany into gridlock.

Offline Jeffsayyes

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Offline Queenskid

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Re: Monserrate Video
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2009, 08:36:08 AM »
I think the second part of the video, in the vestibule, is disturbing.  She screams, and then tries to hold onto the door frame as he's pulling her out of the building.  When the door closes on her hand, she finally lets go as he drags her out the door.  The first part of the video, when she apparently knocks on a neighbor's door, will have to be considered in conjunction with the neighbor's testimony.  According to the prosecution, the alleged victim was banging on the door and screaming for help.

What I find interesting is that Monserrate's attorney will supposedly argue that what you see on the video is not some abuser dragging his screaming victim away before someone can call the police.  No, it's a concerned lover trying to get his bleeding girlfriend help as quickly as possible. 

Of course, if speed was of the essence, then why not go to Elmhurst hospital, which is only a few blocks away.  Why not call 911?  Instead, just moments after dragging her out the door he suddenly decides he has time to jump on the LIE and drive to the Nassau border to get medical assistance. 

Common sense leads me to believe that the reason he didn't go to Elmhurst hospital, or call 911, which would have resulted in the victim being taken to Elmhurst, is because he is well known in the community and didn't want to be recognized.  Moreover, I haven't seen the first part of the video where the two of them are allegedly arguing in the hallway over something he found in her purse.  That would seem to set the stage for a violent escalation of matters later that evening.  Or maybe she just fell into the lip of a water glass and did this to herself.

Offline madalyn

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Re: Monserrate Video
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2009, 11:14:47 AM »
The relative steadiness of her gait, even though she is being forced to walk in  the direction that Hiram chose, belies his lawyer's explanation that she "so intoxicated" she needed Mr. Monserrate's support.

Offline divanatrix

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Re: Monserrate Video
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2009, 11:58:33 AM »
That video was sickening to watch. The first and second sections especially.

Offline francis

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Re: Monserrate Video
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2009, 08:59:08 PM »
The last section of the tape looks as though he is pulling her by the back of her hair. It made me sick to watch too. Then again, anything with him in it makes me sick.

Offline Mike V

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Re: Monserrate Video
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2009, 01:36:11 PM »
Someone mentioned recently that MonsterRat was offered a deal that would have allowed him to keep his seat in Albany but he turned it down.  This person didn't know any details.  Why would he turn it down?

Jackson Heights Life

Re: Monserrate Video
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2009, 01:36:11 PM »