246 N.Y. 491, People v. Snyder

Citation:246 N.Y. 491
Party Name:THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, Respondent, v. RUTH SNYDER and HENRY J. GRAY, Appellants.
Case Date:November 22, 1927
Court:New York Court of Appeals
 
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Page 491

246 N.Y. 491

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, Respondent,

v.

RUTH SNYDER and HENRY J. GRAY, Appellants.

New York Court of Appeal

November 22, 1927

Argued October 24, 1927.

Page 492

COUNSEL

Edgar F. Hazleton, Joseph Lonardo and Dana Wallace for Ruth Snyder, appellant. The denial of defendant Snyder's motion for a separate trial was an abuse of discretion, and vitiates the verdict and judgment. ( People v. Creasy, 236 N.Y. 205; People v. Marwig, 227 N.Y. 382; U.S. v. Marchant, 12 Wheat. [ 25 U. S.] 480; U.S. v. Ball, 163 U.S. 672; People v. Vermilyea, 7 Cow. 108; People v. Williams, 19 Wend. 377; Beazell v. Ohio, 296 U.S. 167; Code Crim. Pro. § 962; People ex rel. Weeks v. Platt, 173 A.D. 451; People v. Palmer, 109 N.Y. 110; People v. Wilson, 151 N.Y. 403.) A severance is warranted in case a confession is only admissible against one defendant and tends to prejudice the jury against the other, or the confessions incriminate one another, or the defenses will be antagonistic, or both. ( People v. Klein, 116 A. 596; People v. Castelli, 101 A. 476.)

Samuel L. Miller, William J. Millard and Maurice S. Feingold for Henry J. Gray, appellant. The People failed to establish premeditation and deliberation against the defendant Gray. ( Aszman v. State, 103 Ind. 347; Atkins v. State, 110 Tenn. 458; Stokes v. People, 53 N.Y. 164; People v. Conroy, 97 N.Y. 62; People v. Breen, 181 N.Y. 483; People v. Clark, 97 N.Y. 385; People v. Sanducci, 195 N.Y. 361; People v. Kennedy, 159 N.Y. 346; People v. Mangano, 29 Hun, 259; Stokes v. People, 53 N.Y. 164; People v. Walworth, 4 N.Y. Crim. 355; People v. Barberi, 149 N.Y. 256.) The failure to establish premeditation and deliberation by the prosecution as against the defendant Gray renders the verdict arrived at by the jury contrary to the law and the weight of the evidence. ( People v. Barberi, 149 N.Y. 256; People v. Clark, 7 N.Y. 385.) The prosecution failed to prove intent,

Page 493

malice or design, against the defendant Gray. ( People v. Cain, 206 N.Y. 202; People v. Sermarco, 202 N.Y. 225; People v. Barnes, 202 N.Y. 77; People v. Green, 201 N.Y. 172; People v. Chiaro, 200 N.Y. 316; People v. Morse, 196 N.Y. 306; People v. Schmidt, 168 N.Y. 568; People v. Egner, 175 N.Y. 419; People v. Ferraro, 161 N.Y. 365; People v. Cain, 200 N.Y. 202.)Motive was not proved against the defendant Gray and, therefore, intent on his part was not established. ( People v. Fitzgerald, 156 N.Y. 253; People v. Kelly, 11 A.D. 495; People v. Harris, 136 N.Y. 423; People v. Ledwin, 153 N.Y. 10; People v. Seppi, 221 N.Y. 62; People v. Chiaro, 200 N.Y. 316; People v. Johnson, 139 N.Y. 388; People v. Sanducci, 195 N.Y. 361; People v. Bennett, 49 N.Y. 137; People v. Cassata, 6 A.D. 386.)

Richard S. Newcombe, District Attorney (Charles W. Froessel and James J. Conroy of counsel), for respondent. The discretion of the trial court in denying defendant Snyder's motion for a separate trial was soundly exercised, was not abused and was in the interest of substantial justice. ( Marchant v. U. S., 12 Wheat. [ 25 U. S.] 480; Beazell v. Ohio, 269 U.S. 167; State v. Klein, 116 A. 596; State v. Brinte, 20 Del. 551; State v. Duplechain, 136 La. Ann. 389; State v. Johnson, 116 La. Ann. 856; Commonwealth v. Place, 153 Penn. St. 314; Akely v. Kennicutt, 238 N.Y. 466.) Premeditation, deliberation, motive and intent on the part of both defendants was conclusively...

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