People v. Hudson

Decision Date21 February 1967
Citation19 N.Y.2d 137,225 N.E.2d 193,278 N.Y.S.2d 593
Parties, 225 N.E.2d 193 The PEOPLE of the State of New York, Respondent, v. Calvin HUDSON, Appellant.
CourtNew York Court of Appeals Court of Appeals

Whitman Knapp and Richard B. Cooper, New York City, for appellant.

Frank S. Hogan, Dist. Atty. (H. Richard Uviller and Robert B. Sperling, New York City, of counsel), for respondent.

BERGAN, Judge.

Defendant was convicted, after trial, of murder in the first degree, attempted murder in the first degree and attempted robbery, first degree. His plea to the indictment was not guilty on the ground of insanity. The People's proof of commission of the acts charged was fully adequate and, indeed, its sufficiency is not now in dispute. The issue of his sanity at the time of commission of the crimes was fully developed and submitted on the basis of psychiatric opinion.

The problem presented is the procedure to be followed in remanding the case for an adversary inquiry and determination of the mental capacity of defendant at the time of trial. This concerns his ability to understand the nature of the charges on which he was being tried and involves the effect on the New York practice of Pate v. Robinson (383 U.S. 375, 86 S.Ct. 836, 15 L.Ed.2d 815 (1966)) decided after the affirmance of the judgment in this case at the Appellate Division.

The People concede that under this decision of the Supreme Court there must be a remand to allow this inquiry to be made; the question is whether there should be a new trial as well, as the defendant suggests, of the issue of guilt or innocence, or whether the new inquiry should be directed only to a determination of defendant's capacity at the time of his trial in October, November and December, 1963.

The Illinois procedure considered in Pate (supra) provides for the trial of the issue of the competency of defendant to understand the nature of his defense before a 'sanity jury'. Under the New York practice this issue is determinable by a Judge (Code Crim.Pro., §§ 662--a, 662--c).

The decision in Dusky v. United States (362 U.S. 402, 80 S.Ct. 788, 4 L.Ed.2d 824 (1960)), which turned on Federal procedure, does not invalidate a New York procedure which will afford the accused full and impartial determination of his mental condition at the trial, i.e., whether defendant 'is not in such state of idiocy, imbecility or insanity as to be incapable of understanding the charge against him or the proceedings or of making his defense' (Code Crim.Proc., § 662--c).

In the remand now to be directed all the constitutional safeguards which would have been available before the trial began, or during its progress, can be afforded in an inquiry before the court.

The psychiatrists who made the medical examination of defendant addressed to his mental capacity at the time of trial can testify; the other medical witnesses who contemporaneously examined defendant as to his sanity at the time of the crime can testify as to their opinion as to his capacity at the trial; trial counsel for defendant, who asserted their difficulty in communicating with him, can testify as to the facts of their experience; and other contemporaneous observations by persons who saw him may be relevant.

On this issue the testimony of the Trial Judge as to his observations and his acquaintance with the assertions by trial cou...

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54 cases
  • Suggs v. LaVallee
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
    • January 27, 1978
    ...competency three years earlier at plea granted on appeal from denial of 28 U.S.C. § 2255 petition); cf. People v. Hudson, 19 N.Y.2d 137, 278 N.Y.S.2d 593, 225 N.E.2d 193 (1967) (remanding after verdict, pursuant to the dictates of then recently decided Pate v. Robinson, supra, for an eviden......
  • People v. Pena
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Division
    • June 4, 1998
    ...of defendant's condition at the time of trial, rather than the results of a new mental examination (see, People v. Hudson, 19 N.Y.2d 137, 278 N.Y.S.2d 593, 225 N.E.2d 193). Indeed, the Fourth Department has stated on several occasions that "it is impossible to have a posttrial article 730 p......
  • Brandon v. State
    • United States
    • Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
    • April 25, 1979
    ...Mich.App. 498, 234 N.W.2d 673 (1975); People v. Anderson, 53 Mich.App. 60, 218 N.W.2d 412 (Ct.App. 1974); People v. Hudson, 19 N.Y.2d 137, 278 N.Y.S.2d 593, 225 N.E.2d 193, (1967), cert. denied 398 U.S. 944, 90 S.Ct. 1852, 26 L.Ed.2d 281 (1970); Commonwealth v. Smith, 227 Pa.Super. 355, 324......
  • People v. Lowe
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Division
    • July 12, 1985
    ...be adequate to protect this right" (Pate v. Robinson, 383 U.S. 375, 378, 86 S.Ct. 836, 838, 15 L.Ed.2d 815; People v. Hudson, 19 N.Y.2d 137, 278 N.Y.S.2d 593, 225 N.E.2d 193, cert. denied 398 U.S. 944, 90 S.Ct. 1852, 26 L.Ed.2d 281). The test to be applied is whether the defendant "has suff......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
  • 17.7 - 1. Competency
    • United States
    • New York State Bar Association NY Criminal Practice Chapter 17 Defenses
    • Invalid date
    ...Lee v. County Court of Erie Co., 27 N.Y.2d 432, 318 N.Y.S.2d 705 (1971).[2579] . Pate v. Robinson, 383 U.S. 375 (1966); People v. Hudson, 19 N.Y.2d 137, 278 N.Y.S.2d 593 (1967); Armlin, 37 N.Y.2d 167.[2580] . People v. Gonzalez, 20 N.Y.2d 289, 282 N.Y.S.2d 538 (1967); People v. Peterson, 40......

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