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September 26th, 2006

SoHo’s Puffin Room holds Tankleff Fundraiser

by D. Clark MacPherson

A subject that spans the divide between Manhattan and Suffolk County, home of the Hamptons, is a heated issue involving the false imprisonment of Martin Tankleff. At the age of 17, Tankleff was arrested for the murder of his parents after having endured a long interrogation by the infamous Suffolk County Police Homicide Detectives. This is a police force which was investigated by New York State for using excessive force and using techniques which support a conviction rate that, in conjunction with the District Attorney’s office, is greater than 90%. Tankleff was caught up in that vortex of “justice” that is focused on imprisoning people and keeping the convictions statistics high, not in apprehending criminals. It also doesn’t help that the D.A., the Detective most deeply involved in the case, former business associates of the murdered parents, and certain other shadowy characters all knew each other outside of the parameters of the crime itself. For example, D.A. Spota, who refuses to support a new trial for Marty based upon new evidence and testimony, was an attorney handling many Suffolk County police matters and in fact had previously represented the Detective who refused to investigate likely suspects in this case. For a more detailed description of this seamy little affair called “justice” in Suffolk County’s little stew pot of corruption, go to www.martytankleff.org.

At the Puffin Foundation in SoHo, Carl Rosenstein hosted an evening of festivities aimed at raising money for the Tankleff defense team and raising consciousness for activists who are interested in justice. Peter Reilly spoke about his false imprisonment and how he had been forced to make a confession –in a case that bears many similarities to Tankleff. Jami Floyd of Court TV spoke about this case as well as about several others involving innocent people. Bruce Barket, attorney, and Jay Saltpeter, private investigator, were present and both supporters and people working getting Tankleff released spoke about the new leads that they are developing in the case.

Several people donated art for the silent auction that was held and in particular Peter Reilly held up an owl that William Styron had donated for an auction to help free him – and proceeded to offer it to benefit the freeing of Marty Tankleff. The 30 year old sculpted owl’s provenance which had helped Peter Reilly win his freedom was auctioned off for Marty’s benefit. It brought nearly $250 and helped to send off the fundraising effort.
If you’d like to get involved in the Tankleff “Free Marty” effort, first check his website and then contact his representatives and legal team. With a host of politicians trying very hard to impose the death penalty on us again in New York State, Marty Tankleff’s fight to overturn his false conviction becomes more serious than ever before.

patronsfundraiserTheresa and Bob OlsonJay SalpeterTeam Tankeleff

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