Appeals Court Overturns Corruption Conviction of Dean Skelos

Adam Dean Skelos conviction overturned
Credits: AP Photo/Richard Drew

A federal court of appeals overturned a felony corruption conviction of Dean Skelos and his son, Adam Skelos. The father and son will still face a retrial on the charges against them.

Dean Skelos is a Republican from Long Island. He was the former Majority Leader of New York State Senate. In 2015, Dean and his son were found guilty of bribery, extortion, and conspiracy.

On Tuesday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second District ruled that the jury instructions in 2015 were erroneous. A part of the instructions was not in line with a 2016 Supreme Court decision.

In its ruling, the judges at the appeals court said they were compelled to vacate the convictions because they “cannot conclude that the charging error was harmless beyond reasonable doubt.”

Additionally, the judges made it clear that there is sufficient evidence against Adam and Dean Skelos even if they found a charging error. According to them, the evidence is enough to allow jury with correct instructions to find official acts of crimes beyond a reasonable doubt.