September 20, 2008. Richard Diguglielmo's conviction has been thrown out, and he has been released from prison. District Attorney Janet DiFiore says she will appeal.
Nov. 29, 2004. When jurors convicted Richard Diguglielmo of "depraved murder" and acquitted him of "intentional murder", they thought they were cutting him a break. After all, he shot Charles Campbell after Campbell began beating Diguglielmo's father with an aluminum baseball bat, and jurors could understand how a person would feel -- and react -- in such a situation. But the jurors were fooled. "Depraved murder" carries the same sentence as "intentional murder". Richard was sentenced to 20 years to life for defending his father.
A New York State Court of Appeals decision tossing out a similarly obtained Long Island conviction and setting the defendant free offers new hope for Richard and others. Appeals Ruling Casts Shadow on Murder Convictions
In Mrs. Pirro’s book, To Punish and Protect, Mrs. Pirro and her collaborator write that Charles Campbell whom officer DiGuglielmo shot to death, after Campbell, (having being wrestled to the ground by officer DiGuglielmo and his brother-in-law and then let up), went to the trunk of his illegally parked car and removed a baseball bat from the trunk of his car to defend himself.
Pirro book does not disclose to the reader that Mr. Campbell proceeded
to hit the father with a bat before Mr. DiGuglielmo shot him. The
book, in addition does not disclose Mr. Campbell’s arrests and
convictions in the early 80s, which included arrests for assault and
credit card fraud.
The mother speaking strongly and without emotion, accused Pirro of trying the case in the press and accusing the family and her son Richard of being rascist.
She pointed out that her son had
The Diguglielmo conviction is now
on its third appeal. The first appeal was dismissed by the Appellate
According to a law analyst familiar with the case, the basis for Officer DiGuglielmo’s appeal rests on the actions of Judge Peter Leavitt, who, after the defense had rested, allowed two things: Ms. Pirro’s prosecution sensing they were not going to get a conviction, as he puts it, “switched horses in midstream” asking for a conviction of Richard DiGuglielmo based on depraved indifference to children in the area near the deli.
Judge Leavitt also appeared to give the jury a way to convict DiGuglielmo. He, our source says “dredged up an element of self defense that was specifically knocked out and eliminated years ago. He advised the jury of the notion that the shooter, the person has to know which of the two involved in the fracas instigated it. This legal interpretation was thrown out by the state legislature 35 years ago. “
analyst goes on: “Those are two clear indications that Richard
DiGuglielmo’s rights were violated and yet they’ve gone on now for 7
years on appeals. The two rights violated are the right of notice and
the right of defense.
Federal court heard it…the first time he said you haven’t exhausted all
your state remedies, and now finally it’s going to the second circuit
court of appeals.
It’s now a question will the judges who hear it be influenced by Jeanine like all the others.”
White Plains Police Commissioner, Dr. Frank Straub, and Deputy Commissioner David Chong, apparently strolling back to Police Headquarters down the street, advised the pickets that they had to keep moving and not block the entrance to Vintage, because they did not have a permit to conduct a demonstration. The pickets obeyed that instruction. The protest continued until
As to Officer DiGuglielmo’s appeal, The District Attorney’s office has until December 1 to respond to papers at the Federal Court of Appeals, Second Circuit in the latest appeal of Officer DiGuglielmo’s conviction.
WPCNR attempted to enter Vintage to see how the signing was going and take a picture of Ms. Pirro signing books. A young woman in a tanned suit said I could not go in. I asked her to relay to Ms. Pirro my request to photograph Ms. Pirro. I was told to wait a few minutes. Five minutes later I asked a man in a black suit, apparently guarding the entrance to Vintage about my request and was told, “No. No pictures at this time.”
booksigning party, apparently not open to the public, sent out
invitations to employees of the District Attorney's office and other
law enforcement agencies throughout the county. Many could be seen
emerging with a copy of the Pirro book in hand, leaving the restaurant.