People v. Saunders

Decision Date11 December 1984
Citation64 N.Y.2d 665,485 N.Y.S.2d 250,474 N.E.2d 610
Parties, 474 N.E.2d 610 The PEOPLE of the State of New York, Appellant, v. Gregory SAUNDERS and Donald LINTON, Respondents.
CourtNew York Court of Appeals Court of Appeals
OPINION OF THE COURT MEMORANDUM.

The order of the Appellate Division, 97 App.Div.2d 519, 467 N.Y.S.2d 888, should be reversed and the matter remitted to it for a review of the facts (CPL 470.25, subd. 2, par. 470.40, subd. 2, par. ) and for consideration of questions, if any, not reached on appeal to that court.

The Appellate Division reversed these judgments against defendants on the law holding that the court's instructions to the jury denied them a fair trial. The majority concluded that the trial court had unfairly marshaled the evidence and that its instructions had inferentially shifted the burden of proof from the prosecution to defendants. The Criminal Procedure Law provides that at the conclusion of summations the court must deliver its charge to the jury (CPL 300.10). It must state the fundamental legal principles applicable, but it need not marshal the evidence except to the extent necessary to explain the application of the law to the facts of the case (CPL 300.10, subd. 2). Nor is the court required to explain all the contentions of the parties or outline all the inconsistencies in the evidence (People v. Little, 98 A.D.2d 752, 469 N.Y.S.2d 462, affd. 62 N.Y.2d 1020, 479 N.Y.S.2d 518, 468 N.E.2d 700). The critical issue on review is always whether any deficiency by it in that respect denied defendant a fair trial (People v. Culhane, 45 N.Y.2d 757, 408 N.Y.S.2d 489, 380 N.E.2d 315; cf. People v. Williamson, 40 N.Y.2d 1073, 392 N.Y.S.2d 255, 360 N.E.2d 933). While this charge presented problems in explication because of the multiple victims and defendants and the several counts, we are of the view that the charge does not present grounds for reversal. The court fairly and impartially set forth the contentions of the parties and its references to the defendants' contentions was nothing more than a statement of their arguments for acquittal. Fairly read, these references did not purport to alter the burden of proof.

COOKE, C.J., and JASEN, JONES, WACHTLER, MEYER, SIMONS and KAYE, JJ., concur.

Order reversed and case remitted to the Appellate Division, Second...

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  • Grey v. Henderson
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of New York
    • September 5, 1991
    ...marshal the evidence only to the extent necessary to explain the application of the law to the facts. See People v. Saunders, 64 N.Y.2d 665, 485 N.Y.S.2d 250, 474 N.E.2d 610 (1984). Here, petitioner's case was relatively simple; there was only one witness. See N.Y.Crim.Proc.Law § 300.10(2) ......
  • Pawlowski v. Kelly, 89-CV-1443A.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Western District of New York
    • September 11, 1995
    ...reviewing a trial court's marshaling of the evidence is whether the defendant was denied a fair trial. People v. Saunders, 64 N.Y.2d 665, 667, 485 N.Y.S.2d 250, 474 N.E.2d 610 (1984). In the present case, there is no indication in the record that the petitioner was denied a fair trial as a ......
  • Watson v. DHS/ICE
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of New York
    • March 31, 2019
    ...required to marshal the evidence, except to the extent necessary to explain the application of the law to the facts. See, People v. Saunders, 64 N.Y.2d 665, 667 (1984); N.Y. Crim. Proc. § 300.10(2). The same is true in federal courts. See, United States v. Carmona, 361 F. App'x 166, 172 (2d......
  • People v. Labossiere
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Division
    • March 29, 2017
    ...with the defendant's requested instruction on prior threats, which marshaled the evidence (see CPL 300.10[2] ; People v. Saunders, 64 N.Y.2d 665, 485 N.Y.S.2d 250, 474 N.E.2d 610 ; People v. Moore, 92 A.D.3d 575, 576, 938 N.Y.S.2d 552 ; People v. Correa, 73 A.D.3d 942, 900 N.Y.S.2d 446 ; Pe......
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