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TUSEO v. LANDUCCI

September 30, 1982

JOSEPH TUSEO, Petitioner,
v.
ROBERT LANDUCCI, as Probation Supervisor, The New York City Department of Probation, and THE STATE OF NEW YORK, Respondents



The opinion of the court was delivered by: GRIESA

GRIESA, J.

 This is a habeas corpus petition seeking to review a state court conviction. The petition is dismissed.

 Petitioner, Joseph Tuseo, was convicted in Supreme Court, New York County, of one count of Rewarding Official Misconduct (New York Penal Law § 200.20). Tuseo was sentenced to five years probation. He has been discharged from the probation. However, he seeks to overturn his conviction by the present petition. His contention is that the state judge failed to give a proper entrapment instruction to the jury and that petitioner's due process rights were thereby infringed.

 Petitioner has exhausted his state remedies.

 The relevant facts are not in dispute, and are indeed set forth in petitioner's brief.

 One James Napoli was incarcerated in the Manhattan House of Detention ("the Tombs") in 1974 by reason of his refusal to testify at a grand jury. Ralph Grano was Acting Deputy Warden of the Tombs. Grano received reports that Napoli was seeking and receiving special favors. Grano reported this to his superiors, and it was arranged that Grano would participate in the investigation of the situation by pretending that he was willing to deal with Napoli in the granting of special treatment at the prison.

 Grano thereafter indicated to Napoli that Napoli might obtain various favors. Grano did in fact provide, and Napoli readily accepted, numerous privileges and special favors, including the opportunity of using Grano's office for social visits, unlimited telephone use, preferred work assignments, and the use of what were generally unauthorized personal articles.

 Petitioner Tuseo was the husband of Napoli's niece. Tuseo participated in certain of the discussions involving Napoli and Grano. Then, at one point, Napoli, Grano and Tuseo were having a sandwich and wine lunch in Grano's office at the Tombs. There was talk of Grano's pending vacation. In the course of this, Napoli stated to Tuseo that Napoli wanted Grano to have a good time on his vacation, and Napoli made a gesture to Tuseo in Grano's direction. Thereupon Tuseo reached into his pocket and produced $500, which he placed in Grano's pocket.

 Grano reported all this to law enforcement officials. Tuseo was indicted for the incident involving the $500. This led to the conviction involved in the present habeas corpus petition.

 At the trial, Tuseo presented an entrapment defense. New York Penal Law § 40.05 provides for such a defense, and states in pertinent part:

 
"In any prosecution for an offense, it is an affirmative defense that the defendant engaged in the proscribed conduct because he was induced or encouraged to do so by a public servant, or by a person acting in cooperation with a public servant, seeking to obtain evidence against him for purpose of criminal prosecution, and when the methods used to obtain such evidence were such as to create a substantial risk that the offense would be committed by a person not otherwise disposed to commit it."

 Tuseo contended at the trial, as he contends here, that he was entrapped, not because he was directly induced by law enforcement officials, but because Napoli was induced, and that this resulted in the entrapment of Tuseo. In line with this contention, he requested that the following language be included in the jury instruction on the entrapment defense:

 
". . . I instruct you that the inducement or encouragement constituting the entrapment need not flow directly from the government agents . . . . Instead the inducement or encouragement may come from an intermediate source who has a relationship with the defendant claiming entrapment and who unwittingly transmits the inducement . . . ."

 The trial judge declined to give this instruction, and instead charged the jury in language which closely tracked the statute -- i.e., that the inducement must come from a "public servant or person ...


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