senate Bill S5125

Signed By Governor
2013-2014 Legislative Session

Relates to jury deliberations

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Archive: Last Bill Status - Signed by Governor

  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed by Governor

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view actions (13)
Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jul 31, 2013 signed chap.287
Jul 19, 2013 delivered to governor
Jun 20, 2013 returned to senate
passed assembly
ordered to third reading rules cal.534
substituted for a7181
May 23, 2013 referred to codes
delivered to assembly
passed senate
May 22, 2013 advanced to third reading
May 21, 2013 2nd report cal.
May 20, 2013 1st report cal.641
May 10, 2013 referred to codes


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S5125 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
Law Section:
Criminal Procedure Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง360.20, CP L

S5125 - Bill Texts

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Relates to jury deliberations.

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TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the criminal procedure law, in
relation to jury deliberations

This is one in a series of measures being introduced at the request of
the Chief Administrative judge upon the recommendation of her Advisory
Committee on Criminal Law and Procedure.

This measure would amend CPL 360.20 to conform the statute to the
procedure used in superior court for selecting a jury.

CPL 360.20 establishes the procedure a local criminal court must use
when selecting a trial jury. It provides that "the court must direct
that the names of six members of the panel be drawn and called" and
that they "must take their places in the jury box and must be
immediately sworn to answer truthfully questions asked them." By
contrast, a jury selection for superior court is done under CPL
270.15, which uses slightly different language. It provides "the court
shall direct that the names of not less than twelve members of the
panel be drawn and called as prescribed by the judiciary law" (CPL
270.15(1), emphasis added). Judges in local criminal court typically
resist the statutory directive that only six names be called and fill
the jury box in the same manner as in superior court. That procedure,
however, is not technically permitted.

There is no rational basis to prevent a local criminal court from
using the more efficient procedure allowed in superior court - where
courts call more than the minimum number of jurors necessary. Indeed,
despite the statutory language of CPL 360.20, the Practice
Commentaries to that section suggest that legislative history and
intent never implied a legislative aim to install different procedures
in the courts:

"The purpose of this section is to make the procedure for jury
selection in the trial of an indictment applicable to the trial of an
information in a local criminal court ... There is one statutory
procedural difference. Section 270.15 was amended in 1981 to
statutorily authorize the court to seat more than twelve prospective
jurors for examination at the same time and no conforming amendment
was made to the present section to authorize the seating of more than
six prospective jurors for examination at one time.

Nevertheless, the obvious thrust of legislative intent under the
present section is that with the exception of the number of jurors to
ultimately comprise the jury - i.e., 6 as opposed to 12 -- the entire
procedure should be the same as the procedure used on trial of an
indictment." (Peter Preiser, Practice Commentaries, McKinney's Cons
Laws of NY, Book 11A, CPL 360.20 at 226).

We recommend that this legislative oversight be corrected and a
conforming amendment be made to CPL 360.20.

This measure take effect immediately, and would apply to all trials
commenced on or after such effective date.

Legislative History:

None. New proposal.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K


                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              May 10, 2013

Introduced by Sen. NOZZOLIO -- (at request of the Office of Court Admin-
  istration)  --  read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be
  committed to the Committee on Codes

AN ACT to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to jury deliber-


  Section 1. Section 360.20 of the criminal procedure law, is amended to
read as follows:
S  360.20    Trial  jury;  examination of prospective jurors; challenges
  If no challenge to the panel is made as prescribed by section  360.15,
or  if such challenge is made and disallowed, the court must direct that
the names of NOT LESS THAN six members of the panel be drawn and called.
Such persons must take their places in the jury box and  must  be  imme-
diately  sworn  to  answer  truthfully  questions asked them relative to
their qualifications to serve as jurors in the action.   The  procedural
rules  prescribed  in  section 270.15 with respect to the examination of
the prospective jurors and to challenges  are  also  applicable  to  the
selection of a trial jury in a local criminal court.
  S  2.  This  act shall take effect immediately, and shall apply to all
trials commenced on or after such effective date.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.


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