Gregory Lenti – NY State Bar #4298907
Law professors filed a grievance regarding Gregory Lenti’s summation misconduct in People v. Anthony & Malachi Ramirez, which he prosecuted on behalf of the Queens District Attorney’s Office (QDAO).
The Appellate Division found that Lenti, the Assistant District Attorney on the case, made improper remarks during summation. Lenti “acted as an unsworn witness” by referring to “matters not in evidence.” Specifically, Lenti argued “without any evidentiary support” that there was more to a witness’s grand jury testimony than the jury knew and he “improperly suggested, and invited the jury to speculate” that a missing witness—one in his control, but whom he did not call—would have supported the prosecution.
In 2017, the Appellate Division found Lenti’s misconduct so prejudicial that it vacated Anthony Ramirez’s conviction and ordered a new trial. In 2020, a different panel of judges from the Appellate Division agreed with that finding and ordered a new trial for Malachi Ramirez.
Despite the findings of misconduct, the New York Attorney Detail Report lists “Disciplinary History: No record of public discipline” for Lenti at the time the professors filed this grievance.
Lenti’s misconduct in Queens was far from unique; serious misconduct at QDAO has been regularly reported for years.
Powerful positions require the highest accountability. We cannot reward prosecutors for breaking the rules.