Case Detail
CitationPeople v. Hernandez, 553 N.Y.S.2d 205 (N.Y. App Div. 1990)
CrimeUKN
StateNY
Pros. First NameUKN
Pros. Last NameUKN
FederalNo
Trial YearUKN
BodyAppeals court
OpinionThe New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, held that the prosecutor's summation denigrating the defense and asserting that the only witnesses to come forward for the defendant were those that were willing to lie was improper and required reversal, and the failure of defendant's family members to appear and give cumulative testimony did not justify a missing witness instruction. "We find that the conduct engaged in by the prosecutor on summation in denigrating the defense and asserting that the only witnesses willing to come forward for the defendant were those that were willing to lie, is the same type of misconduct which contributed to reversal following the first trial [citation omitted]. We trust that our disapproval of such comments will not go unheeded when the defendant is again retried. . .Moreover, the trial court committed errors during its charge to the jury . . . It was error to give a missing witness charge with respect to certain of the defendant's family members who resided in Puerto Rico, one of whom was ill and elderly, due to their failure to appear and testify at trial. The defendant's sister and the leader of the community in Puerto Rico where the defendant testified he resided at the time of the crime did travel to New York and corroborated the defendant's testimony that he resided in Puerto Rico at the time in question. The testimony of additional family members would have been cumulative [citations omitted]."
Determination Year1990
Misconduct TypeT
C/S EffectReversal of conviction
Pros. Misc. ReportedUKN
SanctionsUKN
Sanction TypeUKN
Web linkhttp://leagle.com/decision/1990881159AD2d722_2307.xml/PEOPLE%20v.%20HERNANDEZ