Notable Decisions and Other News


Second Department Orders New Trial in Gang Assault Case


Anthony Ramirez was convicted of gang assault in the first degree.  The Appellate Division, Second Department, reversed the conviction because of misconduct by the prosecutor on summation.  One improper argument identified by the Second Department involved insinuations the prosecutor made about the content of a prosecution witness’s grand jury testimony.  Defense counsel had impeached the witness with a significant inconsistency in her grand jury testimony.  The prosecutor told the jury that defense counsel had used only “selected portions” of the grand jury minutes and that the jurors “didn’t get the entire grand jury minutes,” which improperly “suggested, without any evidentiary support, that the jury should disregard the [witness’s] grand jury testimony . . . because there was more to the testimony than they knew.”