Tuesday, May 15, 2007

AD1: Decisions for May 15, 2007

Don't mess with a NYC cabbie

People v Ortiz, 2007 NY Slip Op 04183 [available here]

Mr. Ortiz stole a cab, and drove off with the cabbie still "hanging on to its outside." (Ortiz, 2007 NY Slip Op 04183.) "Defendant drove the cab into a bus shelter, a fence and a tree, and the evidence demonstrates that he did so in an attempt to dislodge the victim from the cab." (Id. at __.) Not that I know from experience, but I think a Rochester cabbie would have let go of the cab after being driven into one large inanimate object. Anyway, the First Department held this evidence was legally sufficient to establish that Mr. Ortiz intended to cause serious physical injury to the cabbie. (Id. at __.)

The Court did reduce Mr. Ortiz's conviction for first-degree perjury to third-degree perjury. While Mr. Ortiz lied to the grand jury about his name and address, he did not deny "his identity as the person who was arrested", and thus the information he lied about was "not material to the grand jury's investigation" and thus that element of first-degree perjury was lacking. (Id. at __.)

Trial court's denial of Rockefeller drug resentencing for kingpin within bounds of discretion

People v Salcedo, 2007 NY Slip Op 04170 [available here]

The Drug Law Reform Act allows persons convicted of certain drug offenses to petition for resentencing, and the "court should grant a resentencing application 'unless substantial justice dictates that the application be denied.'" (Salcedo, 2007 NY Slip Op 04170.) The lower court refused to grant Mr. Salcedo's resentencing petition, and the First Department affirmed. "Defendant, who was convicted of three counts of first-degree drug possession, was the head of a multi-million dollar international drug organization, and his evidence of rehabilitation while incarcerated was insignificant in light of the magnitude of his crime." (Id. at __.)