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People v. Halm

Court of Appeals of the State of New York
Feb 23, 1993
81 N.Y.2d 819 (N.Y. 1993)

Summary

upholding sentence for sodomy when sentencing judge referred to "Biblical times" and expressed his opinion about the seriousness of the crime

Summary of this case from State v. Arnett

Opinion

Argued January 8, 1993

Decided February 23, 1993

Appeal from the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the Third Judicial Department, William A. Danaher, Jr., J.

Henry J. Halm, New York City, appellant pro se. James T. Hayden, District Attorney of Chemung County, Elmira, for respondent.


MEMORANDUM.

The order of the Appellate Division should be affirmed.

Defendant was convicted on five counts of sodomy in the third degree and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child. The convictions followed testimony by four teenage boys that defendant had shown them pornographic films in his home, masturbated before them, solicited sex from them and engaged two of them in acts of sodomy. He was sentenced by Chemung County Court to five consecutive prison terms of 1 1/3 to 4 years.

Defendant has failed to show that remarks by the prosecutor during summation had "a decided tendency to prejudice the jury" (People v Ashwal, 39 N.Y.2d 105, 110). The prosecutor's reference to defendant's failure to testify was followed by a curative instruction, and his portrayal of the complainants in the closing statement, when viewed in the context of the entire trial, fell within the latitude afforded to attorneys in advocating their cause (id., at 109, quoting Williams v Brooklyn El. R.R. Co., 126 N.Y. 96, 102). Moreover, the prosecutor's closing statement must be evaluated in light of the defense summation, which put into issue the complainants' character and credibility and justified the People's response.

Similarly, defendant's claim that community sentiment and religious beliefs were inappropriately considered by the Judge in imposing sentence is not borne out by the record. The sentencing statement, read in context, was unobjectionable (compare, United States v Bakker, 925 F.2d 728, 740-741).

Finally, we find no merit to defendant's contention that the age of consent established by the Legislature is unconstitutional.

Defendant's other arguments are without merit.

Acting Chief Judge SIMONS and Judges KAYE, TITONE, HANCOCK, JR., BELLACOSA and SMITH concur.

Order affirmed in a memorandum.


Summaries of

People v. Halm

Court of Appeals of the State of New York
Feb 23, 1993
81 N.Y.2d 819 (N.Y. 1993)

upholding sentence for sodomy when sentencing judge referred to "Biblical times" and expressed his opinion about the seriousness of the crime

Summary of this case from State v. Arnett

upholding sentence for sodomy when sentencing judge referred to “Biblical times” and expressed his opinion about the seriousness of the crime

Summary of this case from State v. Trebilcock
Case details for

People v. Halm

Case Details

Full title:THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, Respondent, v. HENRY HALM, Appellant

Court:Court of Appeals of the State of New York

Date published: Feb 23, 1993

Citations

81 N.Y.2d 819 (N.Y. 1993)
595 N.Y.S.2d 391
611 N.E.2d 292

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