innocence blog

A Web log for the Innocence Institute of Point Park University

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Tankleff Denied New Trial

This article by Zachary R. Dowdy and Alfonso A. Castillo originally ran on March 18, 2006.

Calling some of Martin Tankleff's witnesses "nefarious scoundrels," a Suffolk County Court judge on Friday refused to overturn Tankleff's conviction for the brutal 1988 murders of his parents, crushing for now the former Belle Terre man's bid for a new trial.

"After thoroughly reviewing this matter, this court reaches the same conclusion that the jury reached ... and every state appellate court and federal court that has reviewed the case, and that is that Martin Tankleff is guilty of murdering his parents," Judge Stephen Braslow wrote.

It was the latest development in one of Long Island's most notorious murders. The bludgeoning and stabbing of Arlene and Seymour Tankleff early on Sept. 7, 1988 - and the legal battles that began that very day - have captivated both Long Islanders and legal experts nationwide for more than 17 years.

The strongly worded 19-page decision was met with equally forceful responses from Tankleff's attorneys, family and supporters. They said they weren't surprised, but nevertheless saddened that Braslow found the evidence wanting.

Tankleff's family - also the victims' family - have stood by him from the start. Ron Falbee, Martin Tankleff's cousin, said he was "disappointed" at Braslow's tone and finding."

The only people I know of who continue to believe Marty Tankleff is guilty appears to be the district attorney's office and Judge Braslow," Falbee said.

"There's no way in hell that he should have been convicted ... and there's no way in hell that he should not have been granted a new trial today," said Tankleff's original trial attorney, Robert Gottlieb of Commack.

"He has never gotten a fair shake in Suffolk."

Click here for the whole story.


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