United States v. Lisyansky, No. 14-2355-cr (2d Cir. Nov. 30, 2015).
A jury convicted Boris Lisyansky of hiring Jesus Rosa—a man with a long history of mental illness and addiction—to kill the owners of a rival restaurant in Queens. Lisyansky drove this man to the rival restaurant, where the would-be killer shot one of the owners in the leg but otherwise lost his nerve and fled.
Among other things, Lisyansky argues that Rosa’s testimony was inherently unreliable, that his mental illness made him incapable of conspiring to do anything, and that there was no evidence of an agreement to commit murder for hire. That’s a convenient (and, in its own way, a rather demeaning) argument, and one that the Second Circuit rejects. Lisyansky will be in prison for the next 20 years.