Kerry Acquitted: News Reports

Patch file photo
Patch file photo
The jury apparently agreed with Kerry Kennedy's defense, according to news reports. 

Kennedy was "sleep driving" when her vehicle collided with a tractor-trailer on Interstate 684, her lawyers said.  Her trial for misdemeanor driving while intoxicated started Monday in White Plains.

The defense team maintained that Kennedy, a member of the famous family,took a prescribed sleeping pill accidentally, mistaking it for her thyroid medication before she left her Bedford home and headed to the gym on the morning of July 13, 2012. No one was injured in the crash.

The prosecution had argued that she shouldn't have made the mistake, gotten behind the wheel or driven away from the crash.

The defense also said that anyone not famous and not a Kennedy would have been offered a reduced charge in exchange for a guilty plea, as is common for first-time driving-while-under-the-influence charges. 
Leah February 28, 2014 at 12:18 PM
The jury has now created "The Ambien Defense" and set a precedent. Anyone picked up will now claim the mixed up their medications. She admitted she took the pill. She should have at least gotten a suspension of her license.
Rob T February 28, 2014 at 12:50 PM
Well, now we know what will happen the next time Anthony Weiner get pulled over.... "Sorry officer, I accidentally took 6 viagra, that is why I was driving erratic."
New York Patriot February 28, 2014 at 01:12 PM
We have to accept the verdict as it was, after all, a jury of her peers - Ha! That's the American system. Better this was a jury trial than a bench trial because it would be tough to find a conservative or moderate judge in this neck of the woods to throw her happy Kennedy ass in jail where it belongs. It is a shame that a jury would buy such an absolutely ridiculous defense. If she wasn't a Kennedy, if she were me or you, most juries would have locked her up. What's next? Oops..I drank the wrong alcohol. I thought it was wine but it turns out I was accidently drinking scotch. And why is this breaking news? I guess we all tuned in. So, the folks at Patch are saying ha, ha made you look. We all looked.
Genrl Quarters February 28, 2014 at 01:25 PM
@Patriot.....easy there Dude, nobody (not even you or I) goes to jail on the first DUI offense..... Aside from that, does a suspect in DUI case have the option of a jury trial in the state of New York ? I ask because she was charged with a misdemeanor not a felony. Perhaps I guess because it's a criminal offense ? In many states it's still just a traffic violation.
Odd Job February 28, 2014 at 01:42 PM
Go easy on her, she was married to Cuomo.
JJ February 28, 2014 at 01:53 PM
Typical... Not a big surprise but it'll pass too. She admits what happened and leaves the scene. Americans have gotten use to injustices and the media will down play it as usual.
joshua tanner February 28, 2014 at 02:55 PM
No surprise here really. People naturally feel inclined to sympathize with Kennedy women given what they all seem to go through with their husbands. Wasn't too long ago the Kennedy wife hung herself in Bedford. I suppose the family of the heroin kid who just got 40 years for violating parole must be thrilled today.
LD February 28, 2014 at 06:52 PM
Yes.. just love it when they win!!!!!!!!!
Joe Taxpayer February 28, 2014 at 09:43 PM
With her acquittal Kennedy now joins another exclusive club: The tiny percentage of defendants found not guilty of misdemeanor charges in the county's courts. In 2012, the latest year available, only 21 people — 0.2% of all cases — were fully acquitted, according to the state Division of Criminal Justice Services.
Paula March 01, 2014 at 06:33 AM
She wasn't treated easier because she is a Kennedy. She was treated worse. There are approximately 900 DUI-type offenders who are forced to appear each month at the Westchester County Center each month. You only read about the most egregious cases, or about the ones involving famous people, whether their fame is related to bad works they done, good, charitable works they've done, powerful positions they've held, or the luck or misfortune of the family name they were born with. Oh, and also if it's a low news day, their DUI may get printed because the paper or website needs to fill 2 inches. The no-name unknown person who commits DUI can kill you just as easily as a Kennedy can, yet they got to go unceremoniously through the system, and if it was a first offense and no one was killed, they were treated in a similar manner. For those who say that the pills she confused look very different, even if they did, the usage for the two pills could have gotten confused. The real story is that during the month she was arrested, probably about 100 to 150 people had their names printed for DUI-type offenses. Who were the probably 700-750 others? If you want equality, then either all or none should have publicity.
tom March 01, 2014 at 07:18 AM
Kennedy supporters are just so obtuse. The press might not print the name of every person arrested for DUI, but when a person barrels down 684 and the Saw Mill, hitting a tractor trailer and guard rail in the process, and tries to drive away, under the suspicion of DUI, that will get EVERYONE'S name in the papers, regardless of whether you are a Kennedy. Paula, I'll have you know that the press tried to contact Mary Jo Kopechne after the verdict, but she could not be reached for comment.
Paula March 01, 2014 at 07:45 AM
OK, so that means that in order to treat Kerry Kennedy like all the others, then all the others should be treated like Kerry Kennedy. That means that the behavior of relatives, including uncles and aunts that happened as far back as 1969 should be somehow related to their current legal situations. Maybe all people charged with DUIs should have the backgrounds of their relatives brought up. You have just shown that Kerry Kennedy has not been treated the same, but yet again, worse.
Paula March 01, 2014 at 07:50 AM
No problem with this as long as they printed the names of the approximate 900 other people arrested for DUI-related incidents in the Lower Hudson area. The MADD people and media bloggers overlook this. The ones not named in the media are as dangerous as Kerry Kennedy. They may be your coworkers, you boss, your neighbors, or you siblings. Either all the names or none of them. This was a first offense and they are usually pleaded down. When discussing this at work, the quiet, well-respected person at the next desk may have done worse during the same month.
Jay Stacks March 01, 2014 at 07:51 AM
I'm Sure the Prosecutors office had pressure by the Kennedy family and purposely put on a very weak case and intentionally left out important evidence for her to be acquitted. This way they can say they took the case to trial and didn't give her any preference because of who she is. It's almost like playing a poker game and hiding the winning card.
amerpatriot March 01, 2014 at 08:12 AM
Has little to do with right, wrong, DUI, misdemeanor, felony, whatever. If you are a rising star in government (or even a spent, failing star), it doesn't hurt to have some Kennedy juice in your back pocket. I doubt any money passed hands on this. Nothing compares to a good old-fashioned phone call from a clan member.
tom March 01, 2014 at 08:13 AM
Paula, yes, you're right, she is a victim because of her name which she exploits in other endeavors. Keep on promoting victimology and not accountability.
Paula March 01, 2014 at 08:22 AM
Nope, it's equality. If her names blasted, so should the other approx. 899 people arrested for DUI related offenses. I'm not a big Kennedy fan, just believe fair is fair. I would have no problem with the coverage she experienced if there were approximately 899 other names arrested for DUI in July of 2012 in the lower Hudson valley area printed right now. You might be surprised who of your friends, relatives and coworkers would be on it.
Paula March 01, 2014 at 08:49 AM
For example, Feb 8 at 3:45, a male was arrested on central Ave in the Edgemont area for DUI. Do you know his name? Might be sitting right nest to you at work or at your next family holiday dinner, but if they choose to not tell you, you won't. We can be pretty sure he's not a Kennedy, though. How about the woman arrested Feb 20 on Central Ave near Chatterton - a joint arrest by White Plains and Greenburgh officers due to DUI and taking off instead of pulling over when she saw the Greenburgh police car lights? No, she gets to remain anonymous, too, yet could kill you as easily as Ms. Kennedy's car would. Nothing against these two people, just think fair is fair. They will be at the court-ordered County Center MADD Victim Impact panel soon, along with approx 898 other people for that month. Maybe she'll be the nice waitress filling your coffee cup at the local diner or the woman who sits in your row at your place of worship. Maybe she's one of your offspring and if she can afford her legal fees without asking you for help, she can choose to keep that from you. You'll never know.
Lanning Taliaferro (Editor) March 01, 2014 at 09:23 AM
Hi, you all make some very interesting points about the media and the famous and infamous. For clarity's sake, let me say that Patch, like some other media outlets, does not routinely name people who are charged with misdemeanors. However, we will name famous people—whether they are internationally known or only locally known.
Rods March 01, 2014 at 11:57 AM
Zach March 01, 2014 at 01:12 PM
Poor Kerry. Oh, poor, poor Kerry. Her money could not keep her name out of the paper. Good.
Paula March 01, 2014 at 05:25 PM
Zach, her money and name is actually what put her name in the paper. That's not right, either. You are just as dead if the friendly guy who lives near you and works for your town runs over you as if Kerry Kennedy ran over you. Same survival rate. Her offense is no worse than the nice guy who is humble and poor and lives next door you when he drives drunk.
Geoff March 02, 2014 at 01:09 PM
Thank God that people accused of crimes are tried by a judge and jury, and the prosecution is required to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. If any of the commenters or their loved ones are ever accused of a crime, they will surely understand the benefit of our system, which generations of Americans have laid their lives on the line to defend.
townee March 02, 2014 at 09:48 PM
For those who think names should never be released, please consider the consequences of secret arrests. Yes, secret arrests, meaning names are not available to the media or the public. Meaning there is no possibility for oversight of abusive arrests. Would that be better?
Bruce March 03, 2014 at 05:07 AM
Paula March 03, 2014 at 05:12 AM
Townee, I'm not advocating secret arrests, just equal treatment. Either no names in the press for DUI's or the whole list of the approx. 900 DUI attendees who have to go to the MADD Victim Impact events after their arrests each month. Either Kennedy's name should not have been publicized, or she should have had a lot of company.
townee March 03, 2014 at 07:09 AM
You said your first message "NO NAMES SHOULD EVER BE RELEASED TO THE NEWS MEDIA". That means arrests are secrets. I understand that if you are wrongfully charged, there is a stigma attached to your name that is regrettable. But arrest records have to be public or else it is a step towards a police state. The issue you articulate in the second message is something entirely different than the first and is with the media and what interests them--they choose to only publish the famous and salacious names. That really is not the same as people being wrongfully charged but nonetheless having their names in the public. By referencing required attendance at MADD events, I think you are talking about people who have to fulfill terms of sentencing. That leaves out those wrongfully charged, doesn't it? It is fine with me to publish everyone who is sentenced to one thing or another but it is unlikely to happen.
Zach March 03, 2014 at 08:36 PM
OK Paula. Good point in response to my post of March 1. So, I place the following addition to my comment: "Oh poor Kerry. Poor, poor Kerry. Because she has more money than the common transgressor, her name got into the paper. Good, and double good for her. Paula: chill out, before you make yourself sick. This transmission is both "Over" and "Out".
john g flynn March 05, 2014 at 02:13 PM
Ask yourselves if this was you and a jury of your peers acquitted you , how and what would you be posting now ? She had a great Attorney and a creative / unusual Defense which the Jury agreed with so case closed . As to names being printed in the Papers , I think everyone's name should be printed as they are potentially a danger to Society . Embarrassement can be a great motivator . Years ago the Media did print names and I was humiliated being one .
Johnny Rooten April 02, 2014 at 02:08 PM
Kennedy's have a knack for beating the laws Now death is another story.


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