Case Detail
CitationPeople v. Caparella, 920 N.Y.S.2d 384 (N.Y. App. Div. 2011)
CrimeSex crimes
Pros. First NameUKN
Pros. Last NameUKN
Trial Year2009
BodyAppeals court
OpinionThe New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, held that a new trial was required because of prosecutor misconduct. "[I]n light of the prosecutor's improper comments, the defendant is entitled to a new trial. Indeed, although the jurors were properly instructed to consider each case separately, the prosecutor improperly combined the three incidents during opening, summation, and questioning of the witnesses [citations omitted]. Defense counsel moved for a mistrial multiple times and, despite admonitions by the trial court, the prosecutor persisted. Hence, there was a substantial risk that the defendant was deprived of a fair trial [citations omitted]. . . .The prosecutor made a comment revealing a statement made by the defendant upon his arrest, which had been suppressed by the Supreme Court, which could have led the jury to believe that the defendant had committed similar crimes in the past. The prosecutor also commented, “[it] didn't end with [the first victim], it didn't end with [the second victim], and certainly didn't start with [the third victim], you have the power, each and every one of you, to end it here with a verdict of guilty on each and every charge.” . . . The prosecutor continually referred to the three complainants together. The prosecutor stated that the defendant 'took advantage in each case of each man. Each man ... all let their bodies, their trust, their vulnerability in the hands of one man, this defendant. And on three separate times he violated their trust.' . . .Finally, the prosecutor stated, '[a]s you sat here throughout the trial you saw three very different men take that witness stand ... But each one of them was brought together by one man, [the defendant].' "
Determination Year2011
Misconduct TypeTR: Inadmissible
TR: Mischaracterizing
C/S EffectReversal of conviction
Pros. Misc. ReportedUKN
Sanction TypeUKN
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