So when we hear a story that warms our hearts, such as Sergey Aleynikov's acquittal from a criminal conviction brought against him by Goldman Sachs for stealing computer code, we really feel that justice has been done. A panel of three judges decided Aleynikov was not guilty of Economic Espionage and should not have been criminally charged. Finally, the justice system got it right.
NJ programmer freed as NY court orders acquittalRead the whole article here
By Larry Neumeister - (AP) The Kansas City Star
NEW YORK -- A smiling former Goldman Sachs computer programmer was freed from prison Friday after a surprise ruling from a federal appeals court reversed his conviction on charges he stole computer code.
"Justice occasionally works," declared the beaming programmer, Sergey Aleynikov.
He said he "just jumped all over the place" at 6 a.m., the moment he read and repeatedly reread an email from his lawyer informing him that the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan had reversed his conviction. The words were, he said, "'We won!'"
The reversal came less than a day after defense lawyer Kevin Marino told a three-judge panel that Aleynikov was wrongly convicted. The 42-year-old North Caldwell, N.J., man had already served a year of a more-than-eight-year prison sentence after a jury convicted him in December 2010 of stealing trade secrets and transporting stolen property in interstate and foreign commerce.
Aleynikov said outside court that he looked forward to seeing his family, including his 8-, 6- and 3-year-old daughters.
"This is such big news to me that I don't have time to think about what will happen tomorrow," said Aleynikov, dressed in a gray sweat suit and white sneakers. "Today, it's a victory."
His lawyer said: "I've never felt better in my life."
The highly unusual immediate dismissal of a conviction by the appeals court came in a case that tested the boundaries of what can be considered a crime as companies seek to protect their intellectual property from competitors.
Aleynikov has been in prison since he was sentenced in March. A three-judge appeals panel heard arguments Thursday, but the judges gave no indication they would reverse the lower court hours later with a terse, one-paragraph order. The 2nd Circuit said it would issue a written ruling "in due course" to explain its decision.
Marino said Aleynikov's immediate reaction when he spoke to him early Friday was: "There is justice in the world."
"It's justice because Sergey Aleynikov did not commit either of the crimes with which he was charged," Marino said. "The government's attempt to stretch this criminal federal statute beyond all recognition resulted in a grave injustice that put Sergey Aleynikov in prison for a year."