Bridgegate Appeal

The Third Circuit has affirmed the convictions of Bill Baroni and Bridget Anne Kelly.  They were the principal participants in the “Bridgegate” scandal in New Jersey.  However, the Court reversed two of the seven counts against them and remanded the entire case back to the trial court for resentencing.  This is worse than it looks.

First, Baroni and Kelly will have time to file a cert petition with the Supreme Court.  Without looking at the exact rules on scheduling, this should allow them at least another six months out of jail even if, as is likely, the Supreme Court rejects their cert petition.

Next, there will be several months of back and forth before the trial court actually passes new sentences and they are actually incarcerated.  This could easily allow them to be out of jail through to next Fall, possibly longer.

Under the original sentencing, Baroni was given two years in prison, Kelly only eighteen months.  My guess is that, as a practical matter, their actual sentences will run from the time they begin serving them through November 6, 2020.


5 thoughts on “Bridgegate Appeal”

  1. IANAL, so this is not entirely a rhetorical question: if you are too poor to afford bail, but you are still found not guilty at trial (much less likely than for those who can afford it), is there any compensation for time served, or for the consequential damages due to being mistakenly incarcerated awaiting trial?

  2. Your question would have 52 answers (the 50 states, D.C., and the federal government), but, as a retired lawyer who did not do criminal law, I would be very surprised if the answer is anything but “no” for all 52.

    I don’t mean this as a defense for this injustice (or for the existence of bail at all), but one could quibble with your phrase “mistakenly incarcerated.” A prosecutor would say that there had been probable cause for the arrest, and that an acquittal does not mean that the defendant did not do it, but merely that the jury was not persuaded beyond a reasonable doubt that he or she did.

    1. Oh, I agree that not everyone who is not guilty is innocent. I’m mostly highlighting the point that someone who didn’t have the resources these folks have would have finished their sentences long before their appeals were adjudicated. Or, in some cases, might spend more time in jail awaiting trial than they would be sentenced to even if they were found guilty.

      1. I don’t mean to make light of your question, and the issue it raises. But …. Guinevere was chaste, because Launcelot beat Gawain, yes? It’s always and all about how much money the defendant has.

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