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People v. Johnson

NEW YORK SUPREME COURT, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT


June 15, 2010

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, RESPONDENT,
v.
BETTY JOHNSON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

Judgment, Supreme Court, New York County (Kibbie F. Payne, J.), rendered March 18, 2009, as amended April 9, 2009, convicting defendant, after a jury trial, of grand larceny in the fourth degree, and sentencing her, as a second felony offender, to a term of 2 to 4 years, unanimously reversed, on the law, and the matter remanded for a new trial.

Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431.

This opinion is uncorrected and subject to revision before publication in the Official Reports.

Mazzarelli, J.P., Moskowitz, DeGrasse, Abdus-Salaam, Manzanet-Daniels, JJ.

4609/08

As the People concede, the court improperly denied defendant's challenge for cause to a prospective juror. The totality of the panelist's responses, culminating in her statement that she was "not sure" if she could use defendant's prior larceny convictions only to judge his credibility and not as propensity evidence, failed to provide an unequivocal assurance of impartiality (see People v Johnson, 94 NY2d 600, 610--614 [2000]).

THIS CONSTITUTES THE DECISION AND ORDER OF THE SUPREME COURT, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT.

20100615

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