2nd honker
Jan. 26, 2017
News Picks from NYSDA Staff
News Picks
Update on Criminal Cases Pending in the Court of Appeals. The Center for Appellate Litigation (CAL) has released its January 2017 Court of Appeals Update . The Update describes significant criminal cases pending in the Court of Appeals, including those that have been argued, those scheduled for argument, and those waiting to be scheduled. Cases in which leave is newly granted are also listed. The Update is a great resource for public defense attorneys, as the need to be aware of pending issues is as great as their time is limited. Many thanks to CAL for making it available.

Sample Motion to Seek Protective Order to Limit Use of DNA Profiles. In a weapons case ( People v Murray , 2016 NY Slip Op 26403 [Supreme Ct, Bronx Co 12/7/2016]), after ordering the defendant to provide a saliva sample for DNA analysis pursuant to CPL 240.40(2)(b)(v), the court granted defense counsel's application for a protective order prohibiting, among other things, comparison of the defendant's DNA profile with DNA profiles in any other cases and the inclusion of the defendant's DNA profile in the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner's DNA database. Earlier this month, in People v Velez (2017 NY Slip Op 50049[U] [Supreme Ct, Bronx Co 1/13/2017]), relying on Murray, the court directed that "the defendant's sample from which a DNA profile obtained will only be used for comparison purposes with respect to DNA profile previously generated from the swab of the firearm in this case only and will be not utilized for any other purpose or comparison and will not be added to state or OCME databases pending her conviction and sentencing." The Bronx Defenders shared with us their sample motion seeking a protective order restricting the use of a DNA profile and it is available here

Sentencing Laws Expected to be Extended for Another Two Years. The Graybook (New York Criminal Statutes and Rules) and similar publications include two versions of many sentencing statutes, with editorial notations that the current law "expires Sept. 1, 2017," after which the alternative will become effective. However, the alternative statutes would become effective only in the extremely unlikely event that the legislature chooses to let the current determinate sentencing scheme lapse. Since 2005, the legislature has extended these laws every time they were scheduled to "sunset." The Governor's 2017-2018 proposed state budget includes a proposal to extend the sunset date for these laws for another two years to Sept. 1, 2019 ( S2005/A3005 , Part A), and we expect that this proposal will be enacted. We will continue to keep you updated regarding legislative changes in the state budget. If you have questions about the state budget, please contact the Backup Center.

Resources for Attorneys Handling Shaken Baby Cases . Katherine Judson of the Wisconsin Innocence Project is offering monthly webinars on issues that arise in shaken baby syndrome (SBS) and abusive head trauma (AHT) cases. Other SBS resources available from the Wisconsin Innocence Project include an SBS listserv and an SBS Innocence Network resource bank. For more information on these resources, contact Judson at katherine.judson@wisc.edu .

Association News
NYSDA Comments on Off-Hours Arraignment Parts, Familial DNA Searching. Last week, the New York State Defenders Association submitted comments regarding the new legislation authorizing the creation of off-hours arraignment parts and the Forensic Science Commission's decision to consider allowing familial DNA searching in New York.
NYSDA participated in an Office of Court Administration meeting in December regarding the off-hours arraignment parts legislation ( L 2016, ch 492 ). Attendees were invited to submit comments regarding the development and approval of plans for off-hours arraignments. NYSDA's comments are available here. More information about the legislation is available in the Nov. 30, 2016 issue of News Picks.

As noted in the Dec. 29, 2016 issue of News Picks, the New York State Commission on Forensic Science and the Commission's DNA Subcommittee are holding a special meeting about familial DNA searching on Feb. 10, 2017 in Manhattan. The Commission and the DNA Subcommittee are considering whether to amend New York State regulations to authorize familial searching. NYSDA's comments opposing such action are available here.
Please contact the Backup Center if you have questions about either issue.

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