People v. Porter

BRONX COUNTY
Criminal Practice

New York Law Journal

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Justice Richard Lee Price

Porter was convicted after trial of second degree murder. He moved to vacate his judgment of conviction arguing the trial evidence established his actions were intentional, thus was legally insufficient to support a guilty verdict for depraved indifference murder under People v. Feingold. The court denied the motion noting Porter failed to raise the claim on direct appeal, despite the opportunity to do so, and also ruled Feingold was not retroactive. It noted even under Feingold, the evidence presented at Porter's trial was legally sufficient to support a depraved indifference murder conviction. The Court of Appeals held its ruling in Feingold would only apply to pending cases on direct appeal, not collateral judgments of conviction that had become final. Thus, Porter's argument for retroactive application of Feingold was meritless. Porter also now argued that as the evidence at trial, including his own admission, established he intentionally killed the victim, thus proving his innocence of depraved indifference. The court rejected such contention as disingenuous, ruling the opposite was true as Porter's argument only reinforced the jury's finding of guilt, thereby invalidating his actual innocence claim.

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