Notable Decisions and Other News

Decisions

Appellate Division Vacates Conviction for Gun Possession as Against the Weight of the Credible Evidence

4/9/2014

Mr. Battle was convicted of criminal possession of a weapon based on the testimony of two officers from a Queens Anti-Crime Unit.  On a summer night in 2007, the officers were serving as back-up for officers dealing with a dispute at an apartment complex when they saw Mr. Battle in the rear courtyard.  When one of them called out to Mr. Battle, the officers claimed he threw a gun underneath a car. 

The resident of the complex who had called the police to the scene testified for the defense. While waiting at her back door for police, she saw her neighbor, who had just threatened her husband, put a gun underneath a car and leave.  Moments later, the police retrieved this gun, but arrested Mr. Battle, disregarding the woman's protestations that they had apprehended the wrong person.

The Appellate Division vacated Mr. Battle’s conviction, holding that it was against the weight of the credible evidence.  The court cited inadequately explained facts that cast doubt upon the credibility of the officers, including that the ammunition for the gun was not submitted for analysis until five days after the gun was submitted, a photograph of the gun exhibited in the precinct that was captioned “The White Lie,” and the testimony of the resident.

Denise Corsi briefed and argued the case.