Prosecution of "Occupy" protestors argued in court

Posted at: 06/28/2013 12:23 PM
Updated at: 06/28/2013 12:33 PM
By: WNYT Staff / Abigail Bleck

Photo: WNYT / File

ALBANY - Attorneys representing the Albany County D.A. and an Albany City judge were in court on Friday, arguing whether or not Occupy Albany protestors should be prosecuted.

Friday’s proceeding stems from the arrest of four occupiers, last year, on Lark Street.

D.A. David Soares' office has repeatedly insisted it won't prosecute these cases, and Albany Judge Carter says by not calling witnesses the prosecutor is in contempt of court.

Soares maintains that a judge does not have the authority to dictate a prosecution while Judge Carter's opinion is that a district attorney's job is to uphold the law, regardless of his or her personal or political opinion.

The attorney representing Judge Carter said in court today that district attorneys imposing their own discretion would make the criminal justice system "ripe for abuse" and the Assistant District Attorney in court for the D.A. responded that the people of Albany County have spoken. Soares was re-elected after deciding not to prosecute the occupy Albany cases.

The Supreme Court justice overseeing this case will make a decision in the next two to three weeks.