Homes in Bayside // Wikimedia Commons

Bayside Torturer Gets 10 Years for Kidnapping Housekeeper

A Bayside man was sentenced to ten years in prison after pleading guilty to kidnapping his housekeeper and torturing her. His wife received five years probation for her participation. On Tuesday, Justice Robert Kohm handed down the sentences for Devanand Lachman, 35, and Ambar Lachman, 35, who kidnapped and abused their housekeeper after accusing her of stealing from their home.

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Queens County Criminal Court. Eagle photo by Andy Katz.

Criminal Justice Reform Advocates Hail New DA Watchdog Law

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s eleventh hour decision to sign a law creating the nation’s first prosecutorial misconduct commission has received mixed responses from the Queens legal community and borough lawmakers. The law, which passed both chambers of the state legislature earlier this year, will create an 11-person panel to oversee misconduct committed by prosecutors. That panel would consist of appointees made by the governor, legislature and the Chief Judge of the State Court of Appeals, a seat currently held by Hon. Janet DiFiore.

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo // State House

Gov. Cuomo Signed Prosecutorial Misconduct Bill As Deadline Loomed

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bipartisan bill that will create a commission on prosecutorial misconduct on Monday night, just hours before the bill’s deadline. The bill had passed the state Assembly and Senate earlier this year but faced opposition from many district attorneys, including Queens DA Richard Brown. On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Gov. Andrew Cuomo was expected to sign the bill into law, but the fate of the legislation remained unclear. Without his signature, the bill would have been automatically vetoed.

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Derrick Hamilton was wrongfully convicted and spent 21 years in prison. He speaks at a rally to establish a prosecutorial misconduct commission. // Photo courtesy of VOCAL-NY

Advocates Rally for Prosecutorial Watchdog Despite DA Resistance

More than 100 organizations rallied in New York City Monday to call on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign a law creating a prosecutorial misconduct commission.

The watchdog would monitor and investigate claims of prosecutorial misconduct involving the state’s 62 district attorney offices.

“New York has an ugly stain as one of the states with the most wrongful convictions,” said Assembly Member Nick Perry from Brooklyn during a rally at 60 Centre Street Monday. “The governor should stand with us and sign this law.”

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