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People v. Peeples

Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York.
Aug 1, 2012
950 N.Y.S.2d 618 (N.Y. App. Div. 2012)

Opinion

2012-08-1

PEOPLE of State of New York, respondent, v. Sylvester PEEPLES, appellant.

Zachary Margulis–Ohnuma, New York, N.Y., for appellant. Janet DiFiore, District Attorney, White Plains, N.Y. (Steven A. Bender and Richard Longworth Hecht of counsel), for respondent.



Zachary Margulis–Ohnuma, New York, N.Y., for appellant. Janet DiFiore, District Attorney, White Plains, N.Y. (Steven A. Bender and Richard Longworth Hecht of counsel), for respondent.
ANITA R. FLORIO, J.P., RUTH C. BALKIN, L. PRISCILLA HALL, and ROBERT J. MILLER, JJ.

Appeal by the defendant from an order of the County Court, Westchester County (Cacace, J.), entered November 28, 2011, which, after a hearing, designated him a level two sex offender pursuant to Correction Law article 6–C.

ORDERED that the order is affirmed, without costs or disbursements.

A court has the discretion to downwardly depart from the presumptive risk level in a proceeding under the Sex Offender Registration Act (hereinafter SORA) ( see Correction Law art. 6–C) only after the defendant makes a twofold showing. First, the defendant must identify “as a matter of law, an appropriate mitigating factor, namely, a factor which tends to establish a lower likelihood of reoffense or danger to the community and is of a kind, or to a degree, that is otherwise not adequately taken into account by the Guidelines” ( People v. Wyatt, 89 A.D.3d 112, 128, 931 N.Y.S.2d 85). Second, the defendant must prove by a preponderance of the evidence the facts necessary to support that mitigating factor ( id.). In the absence of that twofold showing, the court lacks discretion to depart from the presumptive risk level ( see People v. Martin, 90 A.D.3d 728, 728–729, 934 N.Y.S.2d 321;People v. Wyatt, 89 A.D.3d at 124, 931 N.Y.S.2d 85). Here, the only appropriate mitigating factor that the defendant identified was his assertedly “exceptional” response to treatment ( People v. Washington, 84 A.D.3d 910, 911, 923 N.Y.S.2d 151). Inasmuch as the defendant failed to satisfy his burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence facts supporting a departure on this ground, the court lacked the discretion to downwardly depart from the presumptive risk level ( see People v. Watson, 95 A.D.3d 978, 944 N.Y.S.2d 584).

The defendant was not deprived of his right to effective representation at the SORA hearing ( see People v. Bowles, 89 A.D.3d 171, 179, 932 N.Y.S.2d 112).


Summaries of

People v. Peeples

Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York.
Aug 1, 2012
950 N.Y.S.2d 618 (N.Y. App. Div. 2012)
Case details for

People v. Peeples

Case Details

Full title:PEOPLE of State of New York, respondent, v. Sylvester PEEPLES, appellant.

Court:Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York.

Date published: Aug 1, 2012

Citations

950 N.Y.S.2d 618 (N.Y. App. Div. 2012)
98 A.D.3d 491
2012 N.Y. Slip Op. 5810

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