Appellate Division, Fourth Department
Interference with Defense
People v. Bounds
Appealed from Monroe County Court
Background: The defendant was convicted of intimidating a witness or victim. On appeal, he contended that he was deprived of a fair trial by prosecutorial misconduct, as the prosecutor arranged for the arrest of a woman who was waiting in the courthouse to testify for defendant, thereby interfering with the defendant’s right to present a defense.
Ruling: Judgment is affirmed. A prosecutor’s conduct does not deprive a defendant’s right to call witnesses if the proposed evidence is not shown to be exculpatory. Here, the defense decided not to call the woman to testify, thus it was not established that her testimony would have been exculpatory. Moreover, the arrest of the woman was lawful, and the police were not obligated to wait until after she testified to arrest her.
Mark D. Davison for the defendant; Leslie E. Swift for Monroe County District Attorney’s Office