Judge Grants Post-Conviction Motion Vacating Conviction

A Bronx County judge found that OAD client Amir Douglas was denied the effective assistance of trial counsel and vacated his conviction for first degree gang assault and second degree assault in the death of a fellow incarcerated person at Rikers Island.  While the prosecution's case relied entirely upon the testimony of three other inmates, his attorney failed to request that jurors be instructed that, under New York law, a person cannot be convicted upon the uncorroborated testimony of purported accomplices.  The court found: “There is a reasonable likelihood that [Mr. Douglas] was convicted by insufficient evidence because the jury was not advised to apply the proper standard.  .   .   . [He] has established that trial counsel was ineffective because he failed to seek accomplice corroboration jury charges for the three inmate witnesses who had been implicated in the same incident.” Amir Douglas was represented by Sara Gurwitch and Joe Nursey.