In two concurring opinions, one by Judge Lippman and the other by Judge Abdus-Salaam, the Court of Appeals determined defendant did not raise an error warranting reversal.
The defendant contended (1) his attorney had personal interests which conflicted with her professional obligations to him, and (2) journal entries which were unrelated to the murder with which defendant was charged should not have been admitted in evidence.
One of defendant’s attorneys was under indictment by the same district attorney’s office for allegedly smuggling drugs to a client in jail. The defendant waived the conflict. The two judges disagreed about what such a conflict waiver should include and agreed the defendant’s conflict waiver was inadequate, but determined reversal was not required because there was an insufficient showing the conflict operated on the defense.
The journal entries were essentially “bad thoughts” about women other than the victim. Judge Lippman determined that the “prior bad thoughts” should have been analyzed under the Molineux criteria for the admission of evidence of prior crimes and bad acts. Judge Abdus-Salaam determined that Molineux should not be extended to such “prior bad thoughts,” which should simply be scrutinized under relevancy criteria. Both judges determined the erroneous admission of the “bad thoughts” evidence was harmless error. People v Cortez, 225, CtApp 1-21-14