Murder Conviction Vacated after 440.10 Hearing

M.R.’s second-degree murder conviction and 25-years-to-life sentence was vacated following a lengthy C.P.L. 440.10 hearing.  The hearing evidence, which included extensive expert testimony, established that M.R. had a long history of complex trauma and domestic violence at the hands of her co-defendant, who forced her participation in the murder.  Despite the mitigating psychological evidence,  M.R.’s trial attorney failed to present any evidence of the abuse developed by M.R.’s two previous attorneys to support a duress defense.  He also did not consult with M.R. about whether she wanted to present the affirmative duress defense.  The motion court agreed that these failures violated M.R.’s constitutional rights.  Alexandra Mitter and Claudia Trupp represent M.R.