Joseph Cassilly learned of the court’s decision Friday from a phone call by The Baltimore Sun. “Oh, whatever. I’m retired anyway,” reported Tim Prudente. The Maryland Court of Appeals found Joseph Cassilly deliberately lied about documents that undermined the credibility of an FBI agent on the case.
The judges wrote that disbarring him would prevent his possible return to the courtroom and send a message, “Disbarment recognized the seriousness of Cassilly’s misconduct and serves the goal of protecting the public and ensuring the public’s confidence in the legal profession by deterring other attorneys from engaging in similar misconduct”.
Cassilly maintains that he did nothing wrong and, “fell into the whole anti-criminal justice movement, where the cops are the bad guys and the prosecutors are the bad guys. I’m disappointed, but the real answer is: Do I care? I don’t give a damn. I wouldn’t do anything to engage in the practice of law right now because it’s such a screwed-up obscenity.”
A gruesome crime that happened back in 1981, The Memorial Day Murders sparked questions after a Department of Justice investigation found fault with Malone and examiners at the FBI laboratory in 1997 with the prosecution because an FBI agent, Michael P. Malone showed a history of false testimony, conducting inaccurate analysis of hair samples and making statements that exceeded the limits of scientific testing.
John Norman Huffington, a Bel Air man was twice convicted of killing a young man and young woman. Joseph Cassilly prosecuted Huffington for the murders, but the courts twice reversed his convictions and granted new trials. The prosecution presented evidence stating that Huffington was 18 at the time, was present at each crime scene, and then offered the other defendant that was being tried separately a plea deal. Deno Kanaras, “a friend” of Huffington testified he was present and witnessed both killings.
Kanaras was found guilty of first-degree murder in Ms. Becker’s death in 1982 but acquitted of the same charge in Mr. Hudson’s death. Kanaras served 27 years of a life sentence when he was released from prison in 2008 after a judge in Kent County, where Kanaras was originally convicted, modified the sentence from life to life with all but 35 years suspended.
In November 2017, Huffington was able to make a deal with Cassilly. Huffington submitted an Alford plea to two counts of murder in exchange for time served. With an Alford plea, a defendant maintains his innocence but acknowledges there’s enough evidence to convict. He was released from prison after 32 years and two months. It is unclear what Cassily out of the deal. Huffington has said he would have won his freedom years earlier had Cassilly disclosed the records.
“He doesn’t give an ‘F.’ Doesn’t care, never has,” Huffington said Friday. “That’s what we’ve been dealing with for 40 years. He doesn’t care what the judges say. He’s got it in his head that he is the arresting officer, the prosecuting attorney, the judge, the jury, and in my case, the executioner.”
“This has been a 40-year journey. It started when I was 18; I’m 59 now,” he said. “I’ve waited for the truth and my truth to be told and be heard. Today, it was. I’m very grateful.”
After Huffington was released he filed a complaint against Cassilly with the Attorney Grievance Commission. The commission’s bar counsel opened an investigation. Cassilly said he did not call Malone as a witness after questions surfaced about the agent’s credibility. Joseph Cassily then said, therefore he had no professional responsibility to disclose the reports. Harford Circuit Court Judge Barbara Kerr Howe disagreed and recommended the state’s high court reprimand him. The Maryland Court of Appeals disbarred him.
“The trust placed in Cassilly as the elected State’s Attorney for Harford County, and the high standard to which prosecutors are held, renders Cassilly’s misconduct much more egregious than that of a lawyer in an official or government position who simply fails to follow proper procedures or rules”.