On September 28, 2017, dissenting Justice Sallie Manzanet-Daniels granted leave in People v. Rafael Sanabria to determine the question of whether Mr. Sanabria was deprived of his right to present a defense where the court allowed the prosecutor to question a defense expert about certain prejudicial details of a prior conviction, but prevented that expert from explaining why he doubted that Mr. Sanabria actually committed the crime, as the conviction was vacated on appeal and Mr. Sanabria was allowed to enter a plea without conceding guilt. In addition, Justice Manzanet-Daniels departed from the majority in finding that Mr. Sanabria was denied effective representation because his attorney introduced additional, highly prejudicial information about the prior conviction during voir dire and through the submission of exhibits, notwithstanding the trial court’s preclusion of such evidence. Mr. Sanabria is represented by Supervising Attorney Margaret E. Knight.
On September 26, 2017, Justice Barbara R. Kapnick granted leave in People v. Carlos Tapia to consider whether, in an assault involving multiple assailants, a defendant’s intent to inflict serious physical injury with a weapon can be inferred solely by his participation in the assault, absent any evidence the defendant himself used a weapon or expected that any of the assailants might do so. Mr. Tapia is represented by Volunteer Appellate Defender Daniel A. Rubens from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP and Supervising Attorney Eunice C. Lee.
On August 14, 2017, Judge Michael J. Garcia granted leave in People v. Damian Jones, which raises the issue of whether, under New York’s Enterprise Corruption statute, the prosecution can prove the existence of a “criminal enterprise” with an “ascertainable structure” without evidence that a leadership structure or other system of authority existed at the time of the conduct charged. Mr. Jones is represented by Volunteer Appellate Defender Scott M. Danner from Holwell Shuster & Goldberg LLP and Supervising Attorney Rosemary Herbert.
On June 29, 2017, Judge Eugene M. Fahey granted leave in People v. Princesam Bailey to address whether the trial court should have discharged a juror or, at the least, conducted an inquiry into the juror’s ability to remain fair and impartial after the juror directed an outburst at defense counsel during the questioning of a witness. Mr. Bailey is represented by Supervising Attorney Margaret E. Knight.