Case Detail
CitationPeople v. Whitehead, 760 N.Y.S.2d 35 (N.Y. App. Div. 2003)
CrimeDrug crimes
Pros. First NameUKN
Pros. Last NameUKN
Trial Year2002
BodyAppeals court
OpinionThe New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, held that the judge, sitting as trier of fact, was not required to recuse himself after the prosecutor improperly revealed that the defendant had pleaded guilty and then withdrawn the plea. "Defendant's claim that the court's awareness that defendant had entered, but withdrawn, a guilty plea on the instant charges rendered the court incapable of sitting as a fair trier of fact and invalidated defendant's jury waiver is unpreserved [citations omitted], since defendant did not ask the court to recuse itself but argued only that the prior plea allocution be barred from use on cross-examination under People v. Sandoval . . . We note also that defendant made his Sandoval application, showing 36 arrests and 16 convictions, one of which was a felony, immediately after waiving a jury and consenting to trial by the court to which the application was made. It was in the course of that application that the prosecutor improperly revealed the prior plea. We decline to review the claim in the interest of justice. Were we to review this claim, we would find that defendant's jury waiver was entered voluntarily, knowingly and intelligently and that the court was not legally disqualified from conducting a nonjury trial or obligated to offer to recuse itself. A judge is presumed to have disregarded inadmissible evidence [citations omitted], and there is no reason, in a nonjury case, to distinguish a withdrawn guilty plea from other inadmissible evidence."
Determination Year2003
Misconduct TypeTR: Inadmissible
C/S EffectNo effect
Pros. Misc. ReportedUKN
Sanction TypeUKN
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