While Joyce Cohen, charged with murdering her husband, waits for the end of her 25 year prison term this year, her attorney Alan Ross challenges witness statements and has asked for a new trial.
Joyce Cohen, who was convicted of homicide charges and sentenced to 25 years in prison, will be eligible for parole this year. Represented by Miami's renowned defense attorney, Alan Ross in a famous trial, Cohen was accused of murdering her millionaire husband and arrested in 1988.
In the dramatic trial of State of Florida v. Joyce Cohen, Cohen had claimed that three invaders had murdered her husband, Stan Cohen, a Miami construction millionaire, in 1986. Two years later, a convicted felon turned into an informant and told the cops that he and his two friends had been hired by Cohen to commit the murder. The testimony led to the Cohen's arrest, which was contested by her attorney Alan Ross in the subsequent trial.
In an exceptional display of expertise and experience, Alan Ross had grilled the witnesses and tried to prove the falsity of the informant's testimony. However, the jury found Cohen guilty of murder. But they were unable to reach a unanimous decision at her sentencing. In 1989, she was sentenced to 25 years to life.
After the 1993 book "In the Fast Lane: A True Story of Murder in Miami" based on the trial revealed discrepancies in the informant's stories and the other two convicted home invaders claimed innocence, Alan Ross has been insisting for a new trial for his client. A 1998 interview in the Miami New Times also indicated that the informant's testimony might have been influenced by the police in their overzealousness to convict Cohen. However, the polygraphs showing that the informant had failed the lie detector test were not admissible in court.
This year marks the last year of Cohen's prison term. In November, she will be eligible for parole. Alan Ross is still convinced that a new trial should be held to acquit her of all charges in view of shaky witnesses and reasonable doubt on whether she committed the crime.