Case Detail
CitationPeople v. Gutierrez, 910 N.Y.S.2d 764 (N.Y. App. Term. 2010)
CrimeSex crimes
Pros. First NameUKN
Pros. Last NameUKN
Trial Year2007
BodyAppeals court
OpinionThe New York Supreme Court, Appellate Term, granted the defendant a new trial due to the prosecutor's misconduct. "[T]he prosecutor's highly inflammatory remarks during summation were so prevalent that no curative instruction could have alleviated the prejudice created by the remarks [citation omitted]. The prosecutor began his vitriolic summation by referring to defendant as a 'predator.' He went on to argue that defendant had kept certain movie tickets that were introduced into evidence by the defense as a 'trophy from another night, a different outing with a different child.' Despite the court's having sustained defense counsel's objection to the latter remark, the prosecutor continued to accuse defendant of prior uncharged sex crimes with other children. . . .Such accusations are patently improper and serve no purpose other than to invite the jury to convict defendant on an alleged propensity to commit the type of crime charged [citations omitted]. . . .On this record, we conclude that the cumulative effect of the prosecutor's persistent and improper references to prior uncharged sex crimes both in summation and during his examination of witnesses deprived defendant of his right to a fair trial [citations omitted]. Moreover, in this case, where proof of defendant's guilt was not overwhelming but rather turned on the jury's assessment of a single eyewitness, we cannot conclude that the prosecutor's comments were harmless [citation omitted]."
Determination Year2010
Misconduct TypeTR: Inadmissible
TR: Inflammatory
TR: Mischaracterizing
C/S EffectReversal of conviction
Pros. Misc. ReportedUKN
Sanction TypeUKN
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