Notable Decisions and Other News


Reversal: Burglary Conviction with 16 year Sentence Dismissed Because of Insufficient Proof

March 19, 2014

The claim on appeal was that the defendant may have committed an assault on the complainant’s premises, but that because the vestibule he entered was not part of the dwelling and there was no evidence he had entered unlawfully, there was insufficient proof of guilt of burglary in the first degree. 

The Appellate Division agreed in a lengthy decision, vacating Mr. Taufiq’s 16-year burglary sentence and dismissing that count of the indictment, leaving him with an indeterminate sentence of 2 to 4 years on the second-degree assault count and making him immediately eligible for parole. 

Paul Skip Laisure, of Appellate Advocates, was joined by Stephen P. Younger and several associates at Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler, as volunteer pro bono co-counsel in this burglary case.