Brooklyn, NY - A controversial reality show about Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes may air once again, this time as evidence in a court of law.
According to Daily News reports, lawyers for Shabaka Shakur, are hoping to be able to use the reality show “Brooklyn DA” as proof that retired Detective Luis Scarcella engaged in dubious conduct during his time on the police force. A group of prosecutors have been looking into 40 cases handled by Scarcella for the last four months.
Hynes himself ordered a review of Scarcella’s work after a year-long investigation revealed that detectives had coached witnesses, kept improper notes and provided incentives to felons for providing information in the case against David Ranta, who was convicted in the 1990 murder of Rabbi Chaskel Weinberger.
Ranta’s conviction was overturned last March and he was released after serving 23 years for a murder he didn’t commit.
While prosecutor Morgan Dennehy has claimed that Scarcella was not responsible for coaching a teenage witness to identify Ranta in a police lineup and downplayed the importance of the young witnesses’ testimony, an episode of Brooklyn DA that ran in July indicated otherwise, with Assistant District Attorney Taylor Koss saying that Scarcella ran the lineup and called the teen’s input in the case “crucial in David Ranta’s conviction.”
Shakur’s murder conviction is just one of over three dozen cases handled by Scarcella that are currently under review.
Shakur’s lawyers plan to file a motion on Tuesday to introduce the reality show into evidence, as proof that Scarcella’s conduct sometimes skirted the law, a move that prosecutors hope to prevent.
Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Desmond Green is expected to rule on the subpoena and set a date for a hearing on Wednesday.
The effort to overturn the 48 year old Shakur’s conviction is the first case to be heard by a judge since allegations of possible wrongdoing by Scarcella have surfaced. Shakur, who has maintained his innocence all along, began service a sentence of 40 years to life in 1988 after being convicted of killing two drug dealers.