Court of Appeals Leave Grants
Dissenting Judge Grants Leave in Bribery Case
July 10, 2014
Justice Miller, who wrote a ten-page dissent in this case, granted leave to the Court of Appeals yesterday.
A majority in the Appellate Division had affirmed Mr. Harris's conviction of bribing a witness, finding that evidence of another witness’s murder was properly introduced by the People at trial. The majority found that evidence of the other murder was relevant background to the charged offenses and was not unduly prejudicial.
In Justice Miller's dissent, he reasoned that this evidence was not admissible and was extremely prejudicial. The bribery case descended into a “trial within a trial” about the murder itself and the jury was invited to speculate about the defendant’s involvement.
This case will be briefed and argued by Mark Vorkink in the Court of Appeals.