Case Detail
CitationPeople v. Shelton, 763 N.Y.S.2d 79 (N.Y. App. Div. 2003)
CrimeSex crimes
Pros. First NameUKN
Pros. Last NameUKN
Trial Year2001
BodyAppeals court
OpinionThe New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, held that improper statements made by the prosecutor during closing argument in a rape prosecution constituted harmless error: "While we agree that some of the prosecutor's remarks would have been better left unsaid, these comments were not so pervasive as to warrant reversal [citations omitted], and were harmless under the circumstances of this case [citations omitted]." The Dissent characterized the misconduct as follows: "In my view, the prosecutor's remarks during summation deprived the defendant of his right to a fair trial. He stated at various times, for example, that the defense was characterizing the complainant as a 'seductress,' ' vixen,' 'nymphomaniac,' 'vindictive,' 'sex demanding manipulative vindictive woman,' 'vindictive bitch grandma evil,' 'real hottie,' and 'that crazy.' He also ascribed to the defense a comparison between the complainant and the vindictive character portrayed by the actress Glenn Close in the film 'Fatal Attraction.' These repeated references served only to inflame passions against the defendant and to improperly denigrate the consent defense. Such prejudicial conduct on the part of the prosecution deprived the defendant of a fair trial [citations omitted]. These references cannot be deemed as acceptable responses to defense arguments [citation omitted]. To the extent that some of these claims of misconduct are unpreserved for appellate review, they, nevertheless should be reviewed in the exercise of our interest of justice jurisdiction [citation omitted]."
Determination Year2003
Misconduct TypeTR: Impugning
TR: Inflammatory
TR: Vouching
C/S EffectNo effect
Pros. Misc. ReportedUKN
Sanction TypeUKN
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