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May 14, 2014

New trial granted for defendant who ignored counsel’s advice

It was up to defense counsel, not the defendant, to seek a jury charge on lesser-included offenses in a Niagara County assault case, the Appellate Division, Fourth Department ruled Friday. The higher court overturned the second-degree assault conviction of Germaine Brown, formerly of Niagara Falls, and sent the case back down for a new trial. […]

May 14, 2014

Last Kensington Towers defendant convicted

Theodore Lehmann, 67, of Tonawanda, a former state Department of Labor inspector, has pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Arcara to violating the Clean Air Act. The charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison, a fine of $100,000 or both. U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul said the conviction of […]

May 4, 2014

COA: Defendant can’t confront threatened witness

A convicted burglar gave up his right to confront a witness at his 2009 trial because his threats against her were why she was not available to testify, the state’s highest court has affirmed. The Court of Appeals on Thursday, in People v. Smart (2014 NY Slip Op 02972), found the trial court was not […]

Dec 19, 2013

Hearing set on sanity exams for James Holmes

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Colorado theater shooting defendant James Holmes will return to court in late January for a hearing on prosecutors’ request that he undergo additional psychiatric examination. The judge set the new date Wednesday. The hearing was to take place this week, but the judge postponed it after saying the defense had made contradictory […]

Feb 20, 2013

Court bars retrial of Michigan arson suspect

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a Michigan defendant cannot be retried for arson even though his initial acquittal was based on a judge’s mistake. The court voted 8-1 Wednesday in favor of Lamar Evans, who was charged with arson after he was seen running away from a burning vacant house in Detroit […]

Dec 19, 2012

Comprehension of ‘Miranda’ rights measured

A new tool measures how well a defendant understands Miranda warnings. Developed by Richard Rogers, a professor of psychology at University of North Texas and a Miranda expert, the Standardized Assessment of Miranda Abilities (SAMA) is a form of standardized test that measures a person’s vocabulary and comprehension of the wording typically used in Miranda […]

Jul 25, 2012

Case could set new double jeopardy standard

We know that wrongful convictions can be reversed, but what about wrongful acquittals? With the U.S. Supreme Court prepared to decide next term whether double jeopardy principles prevent the retrial of a defendant acquitted based on a judge’s misunderstanding of the elements of the crime, legal experts say the ruling could have a big impact. […]

Mar 8, 2012

First defendant completes veterans treatment court

The first federal defendant who took part in the veterans treatment court has successfully completed the program, according to U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. The defendant, who was not identified, entered a pre-trial diversion agreement in September 2010 whereby prosecution of a federal criminal case for assault and making telephonic threats was deferred for […]

Jan 11, 2012

NY judge drops Binladen Group as 9/11 defendant

NEW YORK — A construction company founded by Osama bin Laden’s father cannot be sued to recover money for survivors of the Sept. 11 attacks, a judge has ruled, because no evidence has emerged to show the company provided a “financial lifeline” to the terrorist leader after he was removed as a shareholder following the […]

Feb 28, 2011

Court says dying witness statement OK at trial

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Supreme Court has ruled against a defendant in a murder trial who wanted to exclude the victim's identifying statements because the accused shooter had no chance to cross-examine the victim.

Sep 23, 2010

Court: Judge went on date with defendant

NEW YORK CITY — A federal appeals court says a former traffic court judge must lose his law license for going on a date with a defendant and then ruling in her favor. Michael Dorsky worked for the Department of Motor Vehicles in Garden City, Long Island.

Sep 15, 2010

Defendant awakes, says he wants to be at trial

NEW YORK CITY — A defendant who's appeared to be sleeping at his trial has told the court that he does, indeed, want to be there. Laguerre Payen spoke just as the judge was about to eject him from Manhattan federal court on Wednesday.

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