People v. Kidd

CourtNew York Supreme Court Appellate Division
Citation76 A.D.2d 665,431 N.Y.S.2d 542
PartiesThe PEOPLE of the State of New York, Respondent, v. Anthony KIDD, Defendant-Appellant.
Decision Date11 September 1980

Page 542

431 N.Y.S.2d 542
76 A.D.2d 665
The PEOPLE of the State of New York, Respondent,
Anthony KIDD, Defendant-Appellant.
Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department.
Sept. 11, 1980.

Page 543

Nancy S. Hobbs, New York City, of counsel (William E. Hellerstein, New York City, atty.), for defendant-appellant.

Laurence J. Lebowitz, Asst. Dist. Atty., of counsel (Billie Manning, Asst. Dist. Atty., with him on brief; Mario Merola, Dist. Atty., atty.), for respondent.



Defendant appeals from a judgment of the Supreme Court, Bronx County, convicting him, after jury trial, of robbery in the second degree, and sentencing him thereon to an indeterminate term of imprisonment of three to nine years.

The robbery falls into a depressingly familiar pattern-a robbery of a woman in the hallway of her apartment house by two unknown men, one of them alleged to be defendant.

This is a one witness identification case. The complaining witness saw the defendant on the street two days after the robbery and recognized and identified him as one of the robbers on that occasion. Her opportunity to observe the robbers, and particularly the one whom she identified as the defendant, while somewhat fleeting, was legally adequate. The evidence of guilt was thus legally sufficient.

But there are seriously troublesome aspects of the case. There are many inconsistencies with respect to the identification and the police record that was made as to the ability of complainant to identify the defendant at the time. The defendant, as we said, was recognized on the street by the complaining witness two days after the incident; he remained where he was in the street until the police picked him up although the complaining witness had obviously and noticeably stopped to take a close look at him. There was alibi evidence. The defendant's previous record is extremely minor and equivocal, if not insignificant. He has a relatively stable family relationship (although not legally married to the woman he is living with). He was working on a job which required him to get up very early in the morning so that it made it

Page 544

unlikely that he would leave his home at midnight in the middle of his usual sleep time to go out and commit this crime. The defendant also has a history of institutionalization as mentally retarded.

We are clear that the evidence is legally sufficient; and we cannot say that the verdict is against the weight of the evidence in the accepted legal sense. We recognize that the determination of guilt is for the jury, which has not only the legal responsibility to do this, but has the advantage of seeing and hearing the witnesses, which we have not.

Nevertheless, we are left with a disturbing feeling of a grave risk that an innocent man has been convicted. What then are our powers in such a case?

We are authorized by statute to reverse or modify a judgment of conviction "as a matter of discretion in the interest of justice," CPLR § 470.15 subd. 3. While examples of this power are given in the statute, it is expressly stated that such determinations are "not limited" to the examples given, CPL § 470.15 subd. 6.

No doubt our powers of review "in the interest of justice" are extremely broad. On the other hand, we must guard against being capricious...

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55 cases
  • People v. White
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • 18 Mayo 2010 has been convicted’ ” ( People v. Carter, 63 N.Y.2d 530, 536, 483 N.Y.S.2d 654, 473 N.E.2d 6, quoting [75 A.D.3d 126] People v. Kidd, 76 A.D.2d 665, 668, 431 N.Y.S.2d 542; see People v. Gioeli, 288 A.D.2d 488, 489, 733 N.Y.S.2d 242; People v. Crudup, 100 A.D.2d 938, 939, 474 N.Y.S.2d 82......
  • People v. Hargrove, 2015–04231
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • 18 Abril 2018 the interests of the defendant and those of society" ( People v. Ramos, 33 A.D.2d 344, 348, 308 N.Y.S.2d 195 ; see People v. Kidd, 76 A.D.2d 665, 668, 431 N.Y.S.2d 542 ). "Although [this Court's] ultimate concern should be the interests of justice in this particular case, [this Court's] ......
  • People v. Hazzard, 538 KA 13-01797
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • 19 Junio 2015
    ...[internal quotation marks omitted]; see generally People v. Carter, 63 N.Y.2d 530, 536, 483 N.Y.S.2d 654, 473 N.E.2d 6 ; People v. Kidd, 76 A.D.2d 665, 668, 431 N.Y.S.2d 542, lv. dismissed 51 N.Y.2d 882, 434 N.Y.S.2d 1029, 414 N.E.2d 714...
  • People v. Huggins
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • 25 Mayo 1989
    ...has the jurisdiction, which this Court does not, to grant the application in such interest. CPL 470.15, subd. 3(b). (See People v. Kidd, 76 A.D.2d 665, 431 N.Y.S.2d 542 [1st Accordingly, this Court denied defendant's motion to vacate his judgment of conviction, having found that Levon Crawf......
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