14 Felony Convictions Reversed and Case Remanded for a New Trial

On December 26, 2019, the Appellate Division, First Department, reversed J.Z.’s 14 felony convictions—which included four B felonies—and remanded his case for a new trial. Before his original trial, J.Z. asked to represent himself. Before allowing J.Z. to proceed pro se, the trial court failed to inquire at all into his mental capacity despite a prior competency examination and several “red flags” indicating that he lacked the capacity to waive his right to counsel. Thus the trial court’s inquiry was insufficient. Scott H. Henney represented J.Z. on appeal.