Case Detail
CitationPeople v. Pagan, 769 N.Y.S.2d 741 (N.Y. App. Div. 2003)
CrimeViolent, other
Pros. First NameCharles
Pros. Last NameHynes
Trial Year2001
BodyAppeals court
OpinionThe New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, reversed the defendant's attempted robbery conviction due to prosecutor misconduct. "During summation, the prosecutor improperly denigrated the defense by repeatedly accusing the defendant of 'lying' on the witness stand and tailoring his testimony to conform to the People's proof [citations omitted], and by stating that the defense counsel had tried to 'trip up' and 'confuse' the complainant on cross-examination and mislead the jury in summation by asking it to focus on irrelevant issues [citations omitted]. In addition, the prosecutor repeatedly vouched for the complainant's credibility, stating that he was 'perfectly candid,' 'being forthright,' and 'very accurate,' stating that 'I submit to you that [his] testimony is credible and it is also accurate,' and arguing that he had no motive to lie [citations omitted]. The prosecutor also implied that the jury would have to find that the complainant had lied on the witness stand in order to acquit the defendant, which impermissibly shifted the burden of proof to the defendant [citations omitted]. Finally, the prosecutor inappropriately insinuated that the defendant should not have elected to exercise his right to a trial because he was 'caught red-handed' [citations omitted]."
Determination Year2003
Misconduct TypeTR: Impugning
TR: Inflammatory
TR: Misstating
TR: Vouching
C/S EffectReversal of conviction
Pros. Misc. ReportedUKN
Sanction TypeUKN
Web link