Notable Decisions and Other News

Court of Appeals Leave Grants

Court of Appeals Grants Leave on Batson Issue

April 8, 2015

Joseph Bridgeforth was convicted of first- and second-degree robbery and sentenced to concurrent terms of 5 and 3 ½ years, respectively, to be followed by 2 ½ years of PRS.

Appellant argued in the Appellate Division that the lower court had erred in denying his Batson motion because the prosecutor failed to give a race-neutral reason for striking a particular juror.  The Appellate Division affirmed the conviction on July 2, 2014, holding that appellant had failed to establish that the Indian juror at issue was a member of a cognizable class of “dark-colored” women.

On April 2, 2015, Judge Rivera granted leave on the issues of whether skin color is a protected class under New York and federal law whether Step 1 of the Batson protocol is moot on appeal if the non-movant fails to give a race-neutral reason at Step 2.

Tammy Linn briefed and argued the case in the Appellate Division and will continue to represent Mr. Bridgeforth in the Court of Appeals.