Case Detail
CitationPeople v. Benedetto, 744 N.Y.S.2d 92 (N.Y. App. Div. 2002)
CrimeSex crimes
Pros. First NameUKN
Pros. Last NameUKN
Trial Year2001
BodyAppeals court
OpinionThe New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, held that the prosecutor engaged in misconduct depriving the defendant of a fair trial. "[T]he prosecutor engaged in misconduct that deprived defendant of a fair trial. It was improper for the prosecutor to elicit testimony concerning, and subsequently to comment upon, the religious affiliation of the witnesses, either to bolster or to impeach their credibility [citations omitted]. The error was compounded when the prosecutor elicited evidence of defendant's apparent lack of religious affiliation and attempted to contrast that with the religious faith and practice of the victim and his mother [citation omitted]. The inappropriate tactics were not isolated, but rather pervaded the trial [citation omitted]. . . . The prosecutor also improperly referred to the defense as a diversion, thus improperly denigrating or disparaging the defense [citations omitted]. The prosecutor further improperly characterized both his own efforts and the case as a whole as a 'search for the truth' and 'for justice' [citation omitted]. Moreover, the prosecutor improperly referred at several junctures to defendant's failure to cross-examine the victim concerning the details of the alleged incidents and to present witnesses to rebut the allegations. Such attempts to shift the burden of proof onto a defendant must be condemned [citations omitted]."
Determination Year2002
Misconduct TypeTR: Impugning
TR: Inadmissible
TR: Misstating
TR: Vouching
C/S EffectNew trial
Pros. Misc. ReportedUKN
Sanction TypeUKN
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