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Legal Aid Secures Retrial From NYS Appellate Division For Client

The Legal Aid Society announced today that attorneys secured a new trial for our client, Brian Mitchell from the New York State Appellate Division, Second Department, in the Queens Daily Eagle. The appellate court ruled that the trial judge’s biased and excessive interference with the questioning of two key witnesses denied Mr. Mitchell a fair trial. The charges arose out of a robbery at a Queens nail salon. Although the robber was described as 5’ 3’’ tall and between 30 and 40 years old and was seen fleeing south from the nail salon, Mr. Mitchell, who was 57 years old and 5’ 7”, was apprehended north of the salon. At trial, the prosecution’s two eye-witnesses were unable to positively identify Mr. Mitchell when questioned by the prosecutor. The judge, however, proceeded to take over questioning and transformed the witnesses’ testimony into positive identifications.

“We are grateful that the Second Department recognized this fundamental unfairness and ruled to rectify this miscarriage of justice,” said
Denise Fabiano, a Legal Society Appeals Bureau Staff Attorney representing Mitchell.