Former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez Argues Before State Supreme Court

Attorneys for former Hartford mayor Eddie Perez, who was convicted on bribery and extortion charges five years ago, argued that a state appellate court made the right decision to reverse his convictions.

The appellate court argued that the task of the jury to differentiate between two separate proceedings at the same time in order to reach sound decisions was too difficult.

Harry Weller, the Senior Assistant State's Attorney who argued the other side, trying to reinstate the convictions, said the notion that the bribery and extortion cases couldn't be kept separate isn't supported by the facts of the cases.

"The witnesses were kept separate. The jury was instructed by the trial court almost every day what witnesses were testifying to what case. The appellate court noted that these were herculean efforts" he said.

Hubie Santos, Perez's defense attorney, said in particular, when the jury was told through a recording that Perez was an admitted liar, it sealed his fate in the case because the jury would rationally hear that and apply it to both cases.

"In reality, your honor, they got the conviction on case #1 and they're probably not going to try case #2."

Santos argued that the appellate court got it right.

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