12 Felony Convictions Reversed and Case Remanded for a New Trial

On December 26, 2019, the Appellate Division, First Department, reversed J.B.’s 12 felony convictions and remanded his case for a new trial. After the evidentiary portion of J.B.’s suppression hearing closed, the prosecution belatedly disclosed that its sole officer witness had previously been sued for false arrest and malicious prosecution, among other allegations. J.B., who represented himself, requested the opportunity to cross-examine the officer on the allegations underlying this civil suit at both his hearing and trial, but both courts denied his requests. The appeals court held that both the hearing and trial courts erred in denying J.B.’s requests to cross-examine the officer. The court further held that this error was not harmless because the office was the prosecution’s sole witness. Brittany Francis represented J.B. on appeal.