Honoree: Hon. Robert M. Morgenthau
District Attorney, New York County
The Fund for Modern Courts is delighted to recognize the Honorable Robert M. Morgenthau as the 2007 Cyrus R. Vance Tribute honoree. As District Attorney of New York County since 1975, Mr. Morgenthau has been one of the nation’s leading prosecutors. District Attorney Morgenthau has devoted his life as a lawyer to public service, helping protect the rights of victims and preserving the constitutional rights of those accused of crimes and under investigation. He has played a central role in making the administration of criminal justice system more efficient, fair and accessible. His office has significantly reduced arrest to arraignment time; created the nation’s first witness aid unit to serve the needs of witnesses and victims; and adopted an office-wide vertical prosecution system, which, in addition to its case management benefits, enables victims and witnesses to deal with the same assistant throughout their cases.
Under his leadership, the New York County District Attorney’s Office has investigated and prosecuted a wide variety of crimes, including the illegal use and possession of guns, gang violence, illegal drug possession and sales, public corruption cases, and high profile white-collar crimes. He pioneered the use of DNA to solve sex crimes and created special units to stop Internet predators and identity thieves.
As U.S. Attorney for eight and one-half years, Mr. Morgenthau developed a reputation in fighting tax-fraud, organized crime, corruption, and white-collar crime. Among other achievements, he established a special unit to investigate securities fraud and prosecuted highly publicized bribery cases against city officials and IRS attorneys and accountants. He is also an active member of the New York community. His principal civic activities are the Police Athletic League (PAL), which he has served since 1962, first as President and then Chairman, and the Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, of which he is Chairman.