The Second Department, reversing defendant’s conviction, determined the trial judge should not have limited cross-examination of the prosecution’s witness about DNA transfer, and should not have instructed the jury, during defense counsel’s summation, to accept the testimony of a prosecution witness:
… [T]he defendant’s contention that his right to confrontation was violated when the Supreme Court limited cross-examination of a prosecution witness on the issue of DNA transfer is preserved for appellate review … . Furthermore, the court’s limitation of defense counsel’s cross-examination with regard to DNA transfer was an improvident exercise of discretion, since the testimony defense counsel sought to elicit would have been relevant and would not have confused or misled the jury … . Moreover, under the circumstances presented, the error was not harmless, as there is a reasonable possibility that the error contributed to the defendant’s convictions … .
We also agree with the defendant’s contention that his right to a fair trial was violated when, during summation, defense counsel attacked the credibility of the testimony of certain police officers regarding wanted posters, and the Supreme Court instructed the jury, “there was testimony on that. The jurors will be bound by its recollection of the testimony and the explanation.” Since a “jury is presumed to follow the court’s instructions” … , the court’s instruction, which bound the jury to accept the officer’s explanation, rather than to rely on its recollection of the testimony and the evidence, was erroneous. People v Kennedy, 2019 NY Slip Op 07899, Second Dept 11-6-19