Case Detail
CitationPeople v. Gordon, 855 N.Y.S.2d 617 (N.Y. App. Div. 2008)
CrimeViolent, other
Pros. First NameUKN
Pros. Last NameUKN
Trial Year2005
BodyAppeals court
OpinionThe New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, held that the prosecutor's comments during summation exceeded the broad bounds of rhetorical comment permissible in closing argument and had a cumulative effect that substantially prejudiced the defendant's right to a fair trial. "During summation, the prosecutor improperly denigrated the defense by repeatedly likening it to a 'Hollywood' story and characterizing it as 'ridiculous' and 'absurd.' Comments of this type have been frequently disapproved [citations omitted]. Moreover, the 'Hollywood' story line of argument was not a stray comment, but was the overarching theme of the prosecutor's summation. The prosecutor continued this theme even after certain objections were sustained. Further, the prosecutor improperly attacked the credibility of defense counsel by accusing him of withholding the truth from the jury [citations omitted]. Under the circumstances of this case, we cannot say these errors were harmless [citations omitted]."
Determination Year2008
Misconduct TypeTR: Impugning
TR: Inadmissible
C/S EffectNew trial
Pros. Misc. ReportedUKN
Sanction TypeUKN
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