Case Detail
CitationPeople v. World, 550 N.Y.S.2d 310 (N.Y. App. Div. 1990)
Pros. First NameUKN
Pros. Last NameUKN
Trial Year1988
BodyAppeals court
OpinionThe New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, held that the cumulative effect of the prosecutor's improper remarks during summation deprived the defendant of a fair trial and required reversal of the conviction: "We conclude that the cumulative effect of the prosecutor's improper remarks in summation deprived defendant of a fair trial and, accordingly, reversal is required. For example, the prosecutor repeatedly denigrated the defense theory of self defense, referring to defendant's testimony as a 'colossal fabrication', and, on several occasions, as a 'fairy tale.' [citation omitted] In addition, in instances too numerous to mention, the prosecutor 'exceeded the bounds of legitimate advocacy' by injecting his personal opinion of defendant's credibility, and by accusing defendant of lying and tailoring his testimony to appear less culpable. . . .Further, the prosecutor constantly juxtaposed the jurors' promise to give defendant a fair trial with defendant's taking the witness stand and swearing 'to tell the truth.' In reminding the jurors of their promise and stating that defendant had broken 'his part of the bargain' by not telling the truth, the prosecutor also suggested that defendant was not entitled to a fair trial, a suggestion which was emphasized by its repetition on at least four separate occasions. . . .Though the dominant theme of the prosecutor's summation was an attack on defendant's credibility, he also improperly vouched for the credibility of the only eyewitness. [citation omitted] The prosecutor's summation was in stark contrast to that of defense counsel, who, in arguing self-defense, did not attack the credibility of the People's witnesses but rather concentrated on an assessment of the trial evidence."
Determination Year1990
Misconduct TypeTR: Impugning
TR: Inadmissible
TR: Misstating
C/S EffectReversal of conviction
Pros. Misc. ReportedUKN
Sanction TypeUKN
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