Judge Rejects Tankleff
by Tom Durante 03/17/2006
has denied a
retrial for Martin Tankleff, who is currently serving a 50
years-to-life sentence for the murder of his parents in 1988.
of Tankleff’s family and friends who claim the 34-year-old is innocent,
Judge Stephen L. Braslow denied the motion for retrial. Tankleff was
found guilty of the double murder in 1990.
Sept. 7, 1988, Arlene and Seymour Tankleff were brutally murdered in
their Belle Terre home. Martin Tankleff, who was 18 years old at the
time, later confessed to the double murder, a confession Tankleff says
he was forced into making by interrogators.
17-year-old Joseph Guarascio signed an affidavit saying his father,
Joseph Creedon, had told the teen that he had been involved in the
murder. It was one of the many pieces of evidence introduced by
Tankleff’s attorneys in a recent hearing aimed at clearing him.
statement says the many motions made during the hearing lacked merit
and that testimony was inadmissible hearsay.
From the Family of Marty
We are shocked and angered at the ruling by Suffolk County Judge
Braslow. There is overwhelming new evidence that Marty Tankleff
innocent. Not only that, there is more than enough evidence to
arrest and most likely convict the real killers of Seymour and Arlene
Tankleff. Having sat through months of testimony, we know
there is only one possible conclusion: that Marty Tankleff deserves a
What are we to conclude from this ruling other than that truth and
justice were once again trumped by the lies and corruption that have
contaminated Suffolk County law enforcement for a generation? How is it
possible that the mountain of new evidence presented in the hearing did
not meet the test that it would likely have changed the original jury’s
We were shocked when Judge Braslow refused to recognize the blatant
conflicts of Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota and appoint
special prosecutor, in effect licensing the DA to engage in witness
intimidation and other unethical tactics. How little has changed since
the 1980s, when this case began, and when the State Investigation
Commission found rampant corruptionincluding coerced
Suffolk County Police Department and District Attorney’s office.
Perhaps we were naïve to hope Marty Tankleff could ever receive
in Suffolk County.
There is overwhelming evidence not only of Marty’s innocence, but that
is a victim of a wrongful conviction based on a false confession taken
a detective found to have previously perjured himself. There is also
evidence this detective may have been bribed. All impartial
observersincluding retired judges and district attorneys, law
professors, cops, wardens and prison guardsknow that Marty
deserves a new trial. And a growing number of Suffolk County
citizens are aware that in keeping Marty in jail, the DA is coddling
violent felons and allowing the real murderers of Arlene and Seymour
Tankleff to walk the streets.
We are not only Marty Tankleff’s relatives, but the murder victims’
sisters, brother, nephews, nieces and cousins. We look forward to
getting out of Suffolk County and into a fair venue, and it should not
have to wait for an appeal.
Governor George Pataki and Attorney General Eliot Spitzer must now step
in and appoint a special prosecutor to ensure justice for Arlene,
and Marty Tankleff, and for the people of New York.
We thank Marty’s friends and supporters, including those who don’t know
Marty but whose sense of justice is no less offended, because Marty
Tankleff could be any of us.
We have believed in Marty’s innocence from day one, and we will not
until we bring him home.
Marcella Alt Falbee, Ron Falbee, Carol Falbee, Carolyn Falbee, Suzanne
Falbee, Marianne McClure, Mike McClure, Jennifer Cooney, Dan Cooney,
Norman Tankleff, Ruth Tankleff, Autumn Tankleff-Asness, Howard Asness,
Jeff Tankleff, Shelley Tankleff, Landon Asness, Steve Tankleff, Lynn
Kadan, Larry Kadan, Adam Kadan, David Kadan, Kristi McClure, Doug
McClure, Joy Picirrillo, Tom Picirrilo, Kevin Picirrillo, Harold Alt