Case Detail
CitationPeople v. Vielman, 818 N.Y.S.2d 291 (N.Y. App. Div. 2006)
CrimeViolent, other
Pros. First NameUKN
Pros. Last NameUKN
Trial Year2002
BodyAppeals court
OpinionThe New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, held that the prosecutor's improper implication, during summation, that the defendant had fabricated his trial testimony after hearing the prosecution witnesses testify amounted to a violation of her responsibilities and the trust placed in her as a prosecutor, and warranted a new trial. "The prosecutor knew that her argument here rested on a false premise. Her argument was a blatant attempt to mislead the jury, and thus violated her responsibilities and the trust placed in her as a prosecutor [citations omitted]. Properly, the People do not now oppose reversal of the conviction of burglary in the third degree. Nonetheless, they contend that the conviction on the bail jumping count is not infected by the improper argument. We disagree. . . The prosecutor's improper argument was more immediately applicable to the burglary count than the bail jumping count, but we cannot say that there is no 'reasonable possibility' that it also affected the jury's verdict on the latter count in a 'meaningful way' [citations omitted]. The defendant offered a defense to that count as well, and the jury was required to assess the credibility of his testimony as to both counts. In this respect, we note that the court instructed the jury that if it found that a witness intentionally testified falsely as to a material fact, it may disregard that witness's entire testimony or so much of it as it found was not truthful. We cannot say with any confidence that the trial prosecutor's improper conduct did not affect the jury verdict on the bail jumping count. Therefore, we reach this unpreserved issue in the exercise of our interest of justice jurisdiction (see CPL 470.15[6][a] ) and, accordingly, we reverse the judgment and order a new trial as to both counts."
Determination Year2006
Misconduct TypeT
C/S EffectReversal of conviction
Pros. Misc. ReportedUKN
Sanction TypeUKN
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