First Department Orders New Trial Based on Missing Accomplice Liability Instruction

Today, the First Department reversed OAD’s client’s  first degree gang assault and second degree assault convictions – for which he had been sentenced to 25-years-to-life as a persistent violent felony offender – because the trial court failed to provide an accomplice liability instruction. The Court found that the People's case relied heavily on three witnesses that the jury could conclude were accomplices, the non-accomplice testimony was minimal or exculpatory, and trial counsel was ineffective for failing to request the instruction. You can read the decision here.