Tuesday, May 03, 2005

April Term: Unofficial Stats

Here are my unofficial stats for the Fourth Department's April term, based on the cases posted on the Court's website:

Total criminal cases decided: 66
Reversals or modifications: 6

Of these reversals, only one was based on a substantive lower court error (People v Alexander Hamilton, KA 03-01863 [suppressing written statements given after Miranda warnings where first pre-Miranda oral statement was in response to custodial interrogation, and "Defendant gave the second written statement after a break of 10-15 minutes, admitting that he participated in the crimes. We conclude that the written statements were given in 'a single continuous chain of events'"].) Hamilton's plea entered after the suppression denial was vacated and the matter sent back down. The only other notable decisions involved illegal sentences (People v Figuera (court vacated sentences as illegal where the "court imposed what it described as the 'mandatory minimum fines' on those counts [of misdemeanor DWI and reckless driving]. That description 'reflects the court's misapprehension that it had no ability to exercise its discretion concerning such fines"]) and a "harsh and excessive" reduction (People v Bailey (finding "the imposition of four consecutive terms of imprisonment" for defendant's three Sodomy 3rd and one Rape 3rd convictions "unduly harsh", and instead imposing two concurrent sentences]).