Daniel Penny’s Attorney Explains Why He’s Optimistic Manhattan Jury Won’t Try To ‘Right Racial Wrongs’ In His Case


Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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Attorney Thomas Kenniff, representing Marine veteran Daniel Penny, explained Wednesday on NewsNation his optimistic reasons why he believes a Manhattan jury won’t try to “right racial wrongs,” despite a recent denial to dismiss the case. 

Kenniff appeared on “Cuomo” to discuss Penny’s criminal case after he was charged in relation to death of Jordan Neely in May 2023. NewsNation host Chris Cuomo questioned the attorney on “how much” he will potentially “have to contend with race” due to the optics of the case. (RELATED: Daniel Penny Pleads Not Guilty)

“How much of this do you think is not about the facts, but you’re going to have to contend with race? That people are going to say, ‘It can’t be that every time a Black guy does anything wrong, police can do whatever they want — anybody can do anything they want. Here, a white guy choked someone to death, and now he’s gonna get off.’ How worried are you, not because it’s about the law and justice, but optics and politics?” Cuomo questioned. 

Kenniff pushed back on the question, claiming that while people will want to “politicize” the case, the Manhattan jurors will be the ones judging. The attorney detailed his “love” for Manhattan jurors, emphasizing that “they’re not going in there to write racial wrongs.” (RELATED: ‘Justice Should Be Colorblind’: Leo Terrell Blows A Gasket Over Marine Vet Charged In Subway Death)

“You know, look. If someone wants to politicize something, as we’ve seen in this case — as we see every day — they’re going to politicize it. If someone wants to make something a racial issue, they’re going to do it,” Kenniff stated. 

“This case will be judged by a jury, a jury in Manhattan. I’ve tried a lot of cases in my career. The vast majority of them have been to Manhattan jurors. I love Manhattan jurors —  they’re deliberate, they’re educated, they understand the concept of reasonable doubt and they’re not going in there to write racial wrongs.”

“That is, you know, for the Al Sharpton ‘s of the world, that’s for the crazies outside the courthouse — it has nothing to do, in my opinion, uh, with what’s going on in the courtroom. [The] jury will follow the law in this case and the reality is the law is — couldn’t be any more on my client’s side,” Kenniff stated. 

Kenniff’s motion to dismiss the case was denied by New York Judge Maxwell Wiley on Wednesday, pushing the case to trial, according to Fox News. Penny encountered Neely on an NYC subway train, allegedly holding the other man in a chokehold for a disputed period of time after he had allegedly been acting erratically on the subway, according to an unidentified witness. 

Following the alleged incident, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office charged the marine veteran with manslaughter in May 2023, and officially indicted him on June 14, 2023.

Penny has since pleaded not guilty to the charges and will return to court on March 20, Fox reported.