Case Detail
CitationPeople v. Diotte, 880 N.Y.S.2d 397 (N.Y. App. Div. 2009)
CrimeSex crimes
Pros. First NameUKN
Pros. Last NameUKN
Trial Year2007
BodyAppeals court
OpinionThe New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, held that the prosecutor's improper summation comment did not deny the defendant a fair trial: "The prosecutor's second comment was improper as it could have been interpreted to shift the burden of proof to defendant to deny the allegations against him [citation omitted]. However, County Court's curative instruction, given immediately thereafter, clearly advised the jury that the People, not defendant, bore the burden of proof and that defendant's failure to deny an allegation did not mean that he admitted it. The curative instruction also addressed the prosecutor's earlier objectionable comment by informing the jury that defendant had no obligation to ask any witness any question. In order to believe that defendant bore any burden to deny allegations or question witnesses, the jury would have had to ignore not only the curative instruction, but also the detailed subsequent instructions on the burden of proof and the presumption of innocence [citation omitted]. The prosecutor's two comments, though inappropriate, were 'brief [and] isolated' [citation omitted]. In view of all the circumstances, including the court's instructions, defendant's right to a fair trial was not compromised [citations omitted]."
Determination Year2004
Misconduct TypeT
C/S EffectNo effect
Pros. Misc. ReportedUKN
Sanction TypeUKN
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