People v. Martinez

Criminal Practice

New York Law Journal


Justice Dominic Massaro

Martinez renewed his motion to dismiss a remaining count of a pending accusatory instrument. He argued the double jeopardy clause prohibited continued prosecution. Martinez was prosecuted on reduced charges of attempted robbery in the first and second degrees and criminal possession of a weapon. The jury found itself deadlocked within a day and was unable to reach a verdict on the criminal possession charge. The court accepted a partial verdict in which the jury found Martinez not guilty of the attempted-robbery charges. The court dismissed the jury, and prosecutors subsequently informed the court of an intention to retry on the weapon's charge. Martinez contended as the court discharged the jury without formally declaring a mistrial and without his consent, double jeopardy attached, prohibiting re-prosecution on the weapon's charge. The court disagreed, finding the jury was properly discharged, ruling it was also justified in determining a mistrial as the unresolved medical and child care problems of two jurors were brought to the court's attention and shared with counsel. The court concluded double jeopardy did not bar a second trial as the first trial ended in a mistrial.

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