Client's Conviction Reversed
On December 8, 2016, the Appellate Division, First Department, in a 3-2 decision, reversed CAL client DS' murder conviction based on the trial court’s denial of a for-cause challenge to a prospective juror who had stated during voir dire that her family’s victimization, her brother’s murder and sister’s rape, would “probably” impact her ability to be fair. The majority ruled that viewing the prospective juror’s answers as a whole, her “responses did not indicate that she could set aside what happened to her brother and sister.” That the juror had stated she could acquit if the prosecution failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt did not qualify as an unequivocal assurance of impartiality sufficient to overcome her previous statement of bias. The dissent countered that viewing the prospective juror’s answers in context, she had given unequivocal assurances of impartiality. Claudia Trupp represented our client.