Case Detail
CitationPeople v. Smith, 733 N.Y.S.2d 237 (N.Y. App. Div. 2001)
CrimeViolent, other
StateNY
Pros. First NameUKN
Pros. Last NameUKN
FederalNo
Trial Year2000
BodyAppeals court
OpinionThe New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, held that the prosecutor made improper remarks during trial regarding the defendant's guilt, improperly vouched for the witnesses' credibility, improperly shifted the burden of proof, and thus a new trial was required. "During summation, the prosecutor improperly and repeatedly stated unqualified pronouncements of the defendant's guilt, often inappropriately injecting her personal views. She stated, for example, that, 'of course he did it. This isn't an issue of who did it'. Furthermore, the prosecutor continually vouched for the witnesses' credibility, which is also improper [citations omitted]. Additionally, the prosecutor improperly appealed to the sympathy of the jury by commenting that the victim was 'courageous' for going to the police and for 'coming before you' and that the victim was 'ill' but still came to court [citation omitted]. . . .The prosecutor also repeatedly referred to the evidence as 'uncontroverted'. This was a veiled and improper reference to the defendant's failure to testify, which improperly shifted the burden of proof [citations omitted]. Lastly, the prosecutor stated several times that the second person at the scene was unable to testify because he could not speak, but implied that if he had, he would have fully corroborated the complaining witness."
Determination Year2001
Misconduct TypeTR: Inadmissible
TR: Inflammatory
TR: Mischaracterizing
TR: Vouching
C/S EffectNew trial
Pros. Misc. ReportedUKN
SanctionsUKN
Sanction TypeUKN
Web linkhttp://leagle.com/decision/2001784288AD2d496_1119.xml/PEOPLE%20v.%20SMITH