Case Detail
CitationPeople v. Collins, 784 N.Y.S.2d 489 (N.Y. App. Div. 2004)
CrimeDrug crimes
StateNY
Pros. First NameUKN
Pros. Last NameUKN
FederalNo
Trial Year2001
BodyAppeals court
OpinionThe New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division,held that the cumulative effect of prosecutor's improper remarks in summation deprived defendant of a fair trial: "[T]he prosecutor repeatedly referred to defendant as a liar. . .the prosecutor repeatedly told the jury that they could not believe defendant's testimony that he was merely doing the undercover a favor by helping him buy drugs unless they believed that all the undercovers were lying . . . [T]he prosecutor's twice-repeated remark that the only evidence in defendant's favor was his own testimony suggested that defendant was obligated to put on additional evidence. . .The prosecutor disregarded another of the court's pretrial rulings when she used evidence of a previous alleged sale by defendant to argue propensity, after the court properly permitted the evidence for the limited purpose of arguing intent in order to rebut the agency defense . . . The prosecutor argued propensity while vouching for the undercover. She said that to believe defendant, the jury must believe that the undercover 'is lying from the last time he did the exact same thing in the exact same location, two tins for twenty dollars on the same street corner.' She argued propensity while branding the defendant a liar. . . [T]he prosecutor strayed outside 'the four corners of the evidence' . . .in arguing, without any evidentiary basis, that defendant was a drug seller and part of an organized narcotics enterprise. . . [A]s well as going beyond the evidence, the prosecutor 'sought to have the jury expand its role from that of a fact finder in this case to that of a community defender and avenger."
Determination Year2004
Misconduct TypeTR: Impugning
TR: Inadmissible
TR: Inflammatory
TR: Mischaracterizing
TR: Misstating
TR: Vouching
C/S EffectReversal of conviction
Pros. Misc. ReportedUKN
SanctionsUKN
Sanction TypeUKN
Web linkhttp://www.leagle.com/decision/20044512AD3d33_138.xml/PEOPLE%20v.%20COLLINS