Case Detail
CitationPeople v. Williams, 854 N.Y.S.2d 586 (N.Y. App. Div. 2008)
CrimeViolent, other
Pros. First NameUKN
Pros. Last NameUKN
Trial Year2008
BodyAppeals court
OpinionThe New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, held that the state's failure to timely disclose Rosario and Brady materials relating to a prosecution witness substantially prejudiced the defendant and an adverse inference charge was ineffective sanction for the state's untimely disclosure. "Contrary to [State's witness] Kirkley's testimony, the Rosario and Brady materials regarding him included notes of a police officer indicating that Kirkley had reported seeing a black pocketbook in the possession of defendant and [witness] Flood at his apartment on the Sunday before the robbery of the victim here and that the pocketbook observed on the afternoon of the robbery had belonged to a different victim because its contents included a 'lady's sheriff badge.' In addition, the materials reflected that, contrary to his testimony that he was not a receiver of stolen property, Kirkley had participated with Flood in prior robberies and received a share of the items stolen. Further, the materials included an inventory of stolen property recovered from Kirkley's apartment that could have been used to challenge his testimony that he was not in possession of any stolen property. Since these belatedly disclosed materials could have been used to impeach the witness who corroborated the testimony of the only person who testified that defendant was the perpetrator of the robbery, and since the defense had accused Flood of the robbery here, their nondisclosure constituted Rosario and Brady violations that substantially prejudiced the defense [citations omitted]. Inasmuch as Kirkley was not made available for further cross-examination, defendant had no meaningful opportunity to use those materials. Moreover, this prejudice was not ameliorated by Supreme Court's later instruction that the jury could infer that if Kirkley had been further cross-examined, his credibility would have been 'further impeached' and his testimony would have contradicted the People's other witnesses. Since the jury was not told in what respect Kirkley would have been impeached or how his testimony would have been different than before, this adverse inference charge was an ineffective sanction for the People's untimely disclosure. Accordingly, reversal and a new trial are necessary [citations omitted]."
Determination Year2008
Misconduct TypeP
C/S EffectReversal of conviction
Pros. Misc. ReportedUKN
Sanction TypeUKN
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