Article calls El-Shabazz into question
A journalistic investigation accuses him of defrauding several clients during his years as a defense attorney.
Tariq El-Shabazz’s campaign to the District Attorney’s Office could be in serious trouble if an investigation of the City & State Pennsylvania –in which serious questions are asked about his behavior as a lawyer about 20 years ago– manages to scale to the debates that have been taking place in the eve of the primary elections in May.
Under the tittle "El-Shabazz was disciplined, removed from cases as a defense attorney,” the City & State tells the story of Anthony Brown, a man who was sentenced spend his life in prison back in 2000 for a murder he apparently didn’t commit and whose lawyer was the current candidate, El-Shabazz.
The thesis of the report is that El-Shabazz did not act with enough ethical standards, precariously representing clients who ended up in jail after paying him large sums of money for his services.
Although the transfer of blame to lawyers is very common among people who have gone convicted, the news website details Brown's case: “This kid should not be in jail. (…) His lawyer just didn’t do any investigation on a capital murder case,” said Brian Grevious, who attributes the penalty to the bad legal service that El-Shabazz gave to Brown.
17 years ago, El-Shabazz hired Grevious to help him gather the evidence originally intended to be used as part of Brown’s defense. The problem was that Grevious was hired only 4 days before the trial and two years after El-Shabazz took over the case and charged tAnthony’s family $25,000 in advance.
Having put together a defense case in four days – when you had two years to do it – is a terrible precedent for someone who has called himself “the perfect candidate for the District Attorney.”
After exhausting all the mechanisms to appeal his sentence, Brown filed his case to the District Attorney looking for a review. But Fate didn’t help him. His former lawyer was already part of the Conviction Integrity Unit, with Mark Gilson, the same district attorney who sent him to jail in 2000. The unit’s decision was to keep the sentence.
The extensive article in City & State Pennsylvania records other cases in which the name of El-Shabazz is called into question. Read the full article here.
Tariq El-Shabazz launched his campaign to the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office soon after his then chief, Seth Williams, waived the possibility of re-election as District Attorney.
Despite this and other questions about an alleged tax evasion, El-Shabazz maintains his aspirations to occupy Williams’ chair in the main judicial body in the city.