Trial and error! Brooklyn mother seeks to free son in case made for Hollywood

Trial and error! Brooklyn mother seeks to free son in case made for Hollywood
Mother’s fight: Doreen Giuliano with the juror she recorded admitting to lying about knowing her son, who he helped send to prison.
AP / Ezra B. Glaser

A Brooklyn mother is hoping the new district attorney will give a second chance to her son, who was convicted of murder in 2005 — and whose story will soon be a film starring actor Chris Noth.

Former top borough prosecutor Charles Hynes — whom Noth will play in upcoming independent film, according to the Daily News — and his star assistant district attorney Michael Vecchione found Flatbush youth John Giuca guilty of the 2003 murder of Fairfield University football star Mark Fisher. But Giuca’s mom is hoping that Ken Thompson — who defeated Hynes last year — will give the case a second look.

“We new he had no shot with Charles Hynes in office,” said Doreen Giuliano. “I’m hoping that Ken Thompson reviews the case, and is thorough in his investigation, and that ultimately John is exonerated.”

In the early hours of Oct. 12, 2003 police found Fisher’s body shot five times, wrapped in a blanket, and dumped in front of an Argyle Road residence after a night of partying with friends in Manhattan. That party had wound up at Giuca’s nearby home, and the blanket covering Fisher’s corpse belonged to Giuliano.

The prosecution successfully argued that Giuca — then 20 years old — had instructed his friend Antonio Russo to kill Fisher and had provided the never-recovered murder weapon to do the deed, as retribution against Fisher for sitting on his table earlier that night, and as a way to boost the reputation of their alleged gang “The Ghetto Mafia.”

But Giuliano believes her son never got a fair trial — due to both a biased jury and a biased prosecution. According to Giuliano, an overheard comment led her to doubt the credibility of one of the jurors. And, in a move straight from a Hollywood screenplay, Giuliano decided to disguise herself and use a false name to court the juror and catch him admitting to misconduct.

Giuliano recorded the juror, Bensonhurst resident Jason Allo, admitting he had lied during jury selection when he had claimed he did not know Giuca and Russo. The tapes became public through an article in the magazine Vanity Fair, but an Appeals Court judge refused to consider the recordings as evidence because Allo had not made a sworn statement that he had lied.

Giuliano and Giuca’s attorney, Mark Bederow, also submitted a brief to Thompson alleging that one of the prosecution’s key witnesses had perjured himself, and that Hynes’s team withheld evidence that would compromise the witness’s account.

The lawyer’s brief points out that during the investigation into the murder, the witness’s attorney submitted a polygraph test in which the witness stated he had no knowledge of how Fisher died — and the lie detector had determined he was telling the truth. But the witness later testified that Giuca had told him that he had ordered Fisher’s killing and supplied the gun. The brief alleges the prosecution failed to share the results of the polygraph test with the jury.

“He either (1) procured a false polygraph examination report, (2) truthfully passed the polygraph examination and thus repeatedly perjured himself over the course of three sworn statements, or (3) was such a talented liar that he ‘fooled’ the polygraph expert and convinced him that he was truthful despite the fact that he was lying,” Bederow wrote to Thompson.

Giuliano believes her case is strong enough to free her son.

“He was only a convicted murderer because he had a flawed trial,” Giuliano argued.

Thompson’s office declined to comment.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.

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