Davis Polk Chief Pro Bono Counsel Amelia Starr was quoted in the Crime Report discussing the recent victory secured by the firm and the Legal Aid Society on behalf of our client, Oscar Sanders. On February 9, 2023, the New York Court of Appeals reversed a judgement by the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division and ordered a new trial in the case of People v. Oscar Sanders. In what the team believes is an issue of first impression nationwide, the Court of Appeals held that the trial court violated Mr. Sanders’s due process rights by restraining him without formal explanation when the jury announced its verdict.

Amelia noted that the successful reversal rings louder than just a win for Sanders. “It’s important for our client for sure — who absolutely deserves a new trial,” said Amelia. “But I think it’s just as important from a systemic perspective, that really sends the message very clearly to the appellate and trial courts that they cannot do this.”

NY Top Court: ‘Long Forbidden Routine’ of Visible Shackling Applies To Verdict Reading and Jury Polling,” The Crime Report (March 1, 2023)