Thursday, December 01, 2005

Unofficial stats (October 2005 term) and Best of the Rest

Here are my unofficial stats for the Fourth Department's October 2005 term:

Total criminal decisions: 91
Reversals / modifications / remands: 8

A busy term, and just a click fewer reversals than normal. Here are the other notable decisions from the term:

People v Brown: depraved indifference murder conviction supported by legally sufficient evidence where the "People presented evidence establishing that the bullet responsible for the victim's fatal injuries took a highly unusual route, entering the chest cavity of the victim through the forearm."

People v Narrod: trial court erred in allowing an "arson investigator to testify that he had ruled out accidental causes of the fire" because "the expert's testimony improperly invaded the jury's province." No reversal, though; the Court held the error harmless.

People v Albanna: trial court erred by refusing to charge Assault in the second degree as lesser included offense of Assault in the first degree.

People v Coleman: illegal to sentence defendant as persistent violent felony offender on Robbery 3rd conviction because "the crime of robbery in the third degree is not a violent offense."

People v Fortner & People v Semple: waiver of right to appeal does not encompass challenge to enhanced sentence where "defendant was not informed at the time of the plea that he must return for sentencing in order to avoid the imposition of an enhanced sentence."

People v Garrett: error to run definite sentence consecutive to indeterminate sentence.

People v Caito (or, note my exception, yet again): "Defendant failed to object to the court's ultimate Sandoval ruling and thus failed to preserve for our review his contention that the ruling constitutes an abuse of discretion."

I'll deal with the leftovers from the past month's Court of Appeals decisions over the next few days.