Case Detail
CitationPeople v. Spruill, 775 N.Y.S.2d 249 (N.Y. App. Div. 2004)
CrimeSex crimes
Pros. First NameUKN
Pros. Last NameUKN
Trial Year2002
BodyAppeals court
OpinionThe New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, held that the prosecutor made inappropriate comments during summation, but the defendant failed to preserve claims based on the prosecutor's inappropriate comments and in any event the remarks did not render the trial unfair. "We agree that the prosecutor went beyond fair advocacy of the People's position at several points in his summation. In particular, the prosecutor asked the jury five times during the summation if they would want their own children in the place of the complainant. These references to the jurors' children, which had a natural tendency to stir up 'emotional turmoil ... cloud[ing] the mind and interfer [ing] with the jury's function to weigh and evaluate the evidence objectively' [citations omitted], were decidedly inappropriate. In addition, references to the defendant's prior convictions made for the purpose of bolstering the credibility of the prosecution witnesses improperly implied that those witnesses should be believed because defendant's criminal record demonstrated a propensity for criminality [citations omitted]. Finally, the prosecutor's remark that 'I'm beginning to question whether I would have wanted my own children alongside [the defendant's attorney]' amounted to a personal attack on defense counsel and was plainly out of bounds [citations omitted]."
Determination Year2004
Misconduct TypeTR: Impugning
TR: Inadmissible
TR: Inflammatory
TR: Vouching
C/S EffectNo effect
Pros. Misc. ReportedUKN
Sanction TypeUKN
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