New York State Court of Appeals
Annotations — GPS Tracking Device — Harmless Error
People v. Lewis
Background: At issue is whether it constituted reversible error when the trial court submitted to the jury a verdict sheet containing the locations of the designated offenses, and whether law enforcement’s warrantless installation of a global position system tracking device on the defendant’s vehicle violated People v. Weaver and United States v. Jones.
Ruling: The Court of Appeals held that given the number of store locations where the offenses occurred and the sheer number of counts against the defendant, it was appropriate for the trial court to include the annotations so that the jury could distinguish the submitted counts. With respect to the warrantless GPS tracking device, the court found the error harmless as there was no reasonable possibility that the error contributed to the defendant’s conviction.
Susan H. Salomon for the appellant; Martin J. Voncello for the respondent