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New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers - NYSACDL

New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers - NYSACDL
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Amicus Briefs 2011

Trial: Defendant Visibly Shackled During Jury Trial is Prejudicial

The defendant was tried in 2007 for charges arsing out of alleged conduct which occurred while he was an inmate at the Auburn Correctional Facility. During the trial, Clyde proceeded pro se. He was convicted by the jury on all counts. On direct appeal, the Fourth Department found, in relevant part, that the trial court committed reversible error by “failing to articulate a reasonable basis on the record for its determination to restrain [Clyde] in shackles during the trial.” People v. Clyde, 72 A.D.3d 1538, 1538-39, 899 N.Y.S.2d 757, 758 (4 Dept. 2010). In so finding, the majority rejected the notion that the error was subject to review for harmlessness. Clyde, 72 A.D.3d at 1541, 899 N.Y.S.2d at 760 (Scudder, P.J., dissenting) (“I conclude that, in light of the totality of the evidence, there is no reasonable possibility that the improper shackling of defendant contributed to his conviction and thus that the error is harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.”)(quotations omitted). The People appeal that reversal to the Court of Appeals; NYSACDL has submitted amicus brief in support of defendant/appellant Clyde. People v Clyde, Amicus August 17 2011


Sixth Amendent

Ineffective Assistance – Standard of Review

NYSACDL has joined the Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the Supreme Court challenging New York State’s standard of review of ineffective assistance of counsel claims which falls short of the constitutional standard as announced in Strickland v. Washington.  Rosario v. Griffin, 10-854

Right to a Public Trial

NYSACDL and NACDL joined in a Petition for Rehearing en banc in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit which challenges as flawed the “triviality exception” to the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of the right to a fair trial. U.S. v. Gupta, 09-4738-cr


Sentencing: New York’s Persistent Felony Offender Scheme

New York’s PFO scheme which provides that the court, not the jury, has the discretion to impose a life-term enhancement in violation of the Sixth Amendment and the Supreme Court’s decision in Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000) and progeny  is again at issue in Battle v. State of New York.   NYSACDL joins as amicus on the cert. petition : Battles v State of New York, Dkt No. 10-9465

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