In a major victory for Rabbi Eisemann, the New Jersey Supreme Court has declined to accept the prosecutor’s request to appeal the decision that overturned the guilty verdicts and granted the SCHI founder a new trial in the closely-followed case.
Last year, Superior Court Judge Joseph Paone ruled that new evidence that arose that likely would’ve changed the jury’s verdict, thus warranting a new trial.
Additionally, Paone ruled that prosecutors knew about that evidence before the 2019 trial, yet they withheld it from both the jury and the defense, thus violating the Brady Act and providing an additional reason why a new trial was warranted.
Prosecutors appealed that decision to the state’s Appellate Division, but the 3-judge panel unanimously sided with Rabbi Eisemann, in a decision released in May.
Weeks later, the prosecution filed a motion to the state Supreme Court, asserting that the trial judge and the appellate panel made errors that necessitate review by the high court.
Prosecutors pressed the urgency on the court, claiming that this case would be an opening for issues in the future, as the withheld evidence was a QuickBooks audit trail, and if they were mandated to overturn such evidence, it would set a precedent which would be hard to sustain in today’s digital age.
“The panel adopted a brand-new Brady requirement that risks havoc in the digital age, particularly in financial prosecutions,” prosecutors wrote in their brief. Later, they expounded: “Clarity is thus needed from this Court, particularly in an age when law enforcement is increasingly reviewing a defendant’s own electronic data.”
It remains unclear what the prosecution will decide to do now, as they determine whether they should press ahead with a new trial, or drop the case altogether.
Please continue Davening for Osher ben Chana Frumet.