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People v. Coons

Court of Appeals of the State of New York
Jan 11, 1990
551 N.E.2d 587 (N.Y. 1990)

Summary

In People v Coons (75 N.Y.2d 796), we concluded that a violation of CPL 310.10 constituted a "mode of proceedings" error, without discussion of the underlying requirement.

Summary of this case from People v. Agramonte

Opinion

Argued November 17, 1989

Decided January 11, 1990

Appeal from the Supreme Court in the Second Judicial Department, Richard D. Griffiths, J.

John B. Garrity, Jr., Public Defender (Terry D. Horner of counsel), for appellant. William V. Grady, District Attorney (Matthew G. Tice of counsel), for respondent.


MEMORANDUM.

The order of the Appellate Term should be reversed and a new trial ordered.

During the course of the jury deliberations, the trial court permitted the jurors to go to their homes for dinner, separately and unsupervised. CPL 310.10 provides that a deliberating jury " must be continuously kept together under the supervision of a court officer" (emphasis supplied). This section mandates the jury's seclusion during deliberations (see, People v Bouton, 50 N.Y.2d 130, 138). The trial court erred in failing to keep the deliberating jury continuously together under supervision as required by the statute.

We reject the People's argument that this error cannot be reviewed because of defendant's failure to object at trial. Errors which "`affect the organization of the court or the mode of proceedings prescribed by law'" need not be preserved and, even if acceded to, still present a question of law for this court to review (see, People v Ahmed, 66 N.Y.2d 307, 310 [quoting People v Patterson, 39 N.Y.2d 288, 295, affd 432 U.S. 197]). The trial court's violation of CPL 310.10 in this case constitutes such error.

We reject defendant's argument that the People's proof of sexual abuse in the second degree was insufficient. Because the CPL 310.10 error requires reversal, we need not reach defendant's remaining contentions.

Chief Judge WACHTLER and Judges SIMONS, KAYE, ALEXANDER, TITONE, HANCOCK, JR., and BELLACOSA concur in memorandum.

Order reversed, etc.


Summaries of

People v. Coons

Court of Appeals of the State of New York
Jan 11, 1990
551 N.E.2d 587 (N.Y. 1990)

In People v Coons (75 N.Y.2d 796), we concluded that a violation of CPL 310.10 constituted a "mode of proceedings" error, without discussion of the underlying requirement.

Summary of this case from People v. Agramonte

In Coons, the issue was whether the Court's departure from the dictates of CPL 310.10 in permitting deliberating jurors to return to their homes for dinner could be reviewed on appeal even though the defendant had not objected.

Summary of this case from People v. Webb
Case details for

People v. Coons

Case Details

Full title:THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, Respondent, v. GEORGE COONS, Appellant

Court:Court of Appeals of the State of New York

Date published: Jan 11, 1990

Citations

551 N.E.2d 587 (N.Y. 1990)
551 N.E.2d 587
552 N.Y.S.2d 94

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