Case Detail
CitationPeople v. Thornton, 771 N.Y.S.2d 597 (N.Y. App. Div. 2004)
CrimeViolent, other
StateNY
Pros. First NamePaul
Pros. Last NameClyne
FederalNo
Trial Year2001
BodyAppeals court
OpinionThe Supreme Court, Appellate Division, held that the prosecutor's extended references and analogies at the outset of his summation to September 11 terrorist attacks, which occurred only a week prior to the defendant's trial, constituted an improper appeal to the jurors' fears, but the defendant was not denied due process or a fair trial. "We agree, in part, with defendant's argument that the prosecutor's extended references and analogies at the outset of his summation to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center—which occurred only the week prior to this trial—constituted an improper appeal to the jurors' fears. Conjuring up such irrelevant and recent images was undoubtedly prejudicial and certainly unnecessary to make the point intended regarding circumstantial evidence undermining any finding of coincidence with regard to these burglaries, and defendant's repeated objections should have been sustained. In view of the overwhelming proof of defendant's guilt, however, we do not find that the improper comments denied defendant due process or a fair trial [citations omitted]."
Determination Year2004
Misconduct TypeTR: Inflammatory
C/S EffectNo effect
Pros. Misc. ReportedUKN
SanctionsUKN
Sanction TypeUKN
Web linkhttp://www.leagle.com/decision/20045654AD3d561_1139.xml/PEOPLE%20v.%20THORNTON