Two weeks into criminal justice reform, and prosecutors say they’re struggling to keep up

We’re two weeks into the new criminal justice reform here in New York state. Since the beginning of the year, we’ve seen push-back and support for bail reform and the new discovery law. It’s a controversial new law prompting the release of hundreds of suspects across the state. It’s also sparking outrage from district attorneys, sheriffs, and local police departments. Judges here in New York no longer have discretion, something New Jersey’s law allows to let the judge consider a suspect’s threat to the community. Read Full Article

DA finds way to keep driver accused of fatal Parkway hit-and-run jailed despite bail reform

Syracuse, NY — A judge didn’t want to do it. A prosecutor protested it. But New York’s new bail reform required the release of Michael Ziemba, 49, a driver with a history of dangerous intoxication who’s accused of fleeing the scene of a fatal crash in October on Onondaga Lake Parkway. That’s because leaving the scene of a fatal crash is not considered a violent felony, so a judge is forced to release the defendant pending trial under the new bail reform law. Read Full Article

Judge: No choice but to release fatal Onondaga Lake Parkway hit-and-run driver under new law

Syracuse, NY — An Onondaga County Court Judge said Thursday he had no choice under the state’s new bail reform law but to release from jail a driver accused of an Onondaga Lake Parkway fatal hit-and-run who authorities say tried to hide his tracks. Michael Ziemba, 49, is eligible for release on his own recognizance under the bail reform law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020, Judge Thomas J. Miller said. “Whether I agree with it or not,” the judge ruled, Ziemba is required to be released from jail on Jan. 1. Read Full Article

Salina man’s bloody murder covered up by grandma’s chili; is drug buddy guilty?

Syracuse, NY — It may be one of the more unusual murder scenes in recent Central New York history: someone covered up the stabbing and beating death of Jacob Giarrusso by pouring his grandmother’s home-cooked chili across the crime scene. Giarrusso, 25, of Salina, was found dead three days later, stuffed in his own car trunk, after being bludgeoned and stabbed seven times, a knife stolen from his grandmother’s kitchen breaking off in his back, police said. His buddy and co-worker, Jacob Stanton, 26, is facing trial this week in Giarrusso’s November 2017 murder. Giarrusso’s body was found in his abandoned car at the Brookwood on the Green apartment complex, off Morgan Road. Read Full Article

Convicted wife-killer wants case overturned

Attorneys for a South New Berlin man serving a 25-year sentence for the 2012 murder of his wife argued last week in Chenango County Court that his conviction should be thrown out. Ganesh “Remy” Ramsaran, now 44, is in custody at Great Meadows Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison in Washington County. He exhausted his ability to directly appeal his case two years ago, according to Michael Ferrarese, acting Chenango County District Attorney. Ramsaran’s lawyers, Melissa K. Swartz of Greene & Brenneck and J. David Hammond of CDH Law, both in Syracuse, filed a motion in February to set aside his 2014 conviction on the basis that Ramsaran received “ineffective assistance of counsel.” Read Full Article