O’RAMA-PROCEDURE ERRORS WERE NOT MODE OF PROCEEDINGS ERRORS AND WERE NOT PRESERVED FOR REVIEW BY OBJECTIONS.
The First Department determined that the O’Rama-procedure errors made by the trial judge did not rise to the level of “mode of proceedings” errors and were not preserved for appeal by objection. The note was read essentially verbatim in open court, but the judge did not give counsel advance notice of the contents of the note and did not give the parties the chance for input re: the response:
The trial court’s handling of the note sent out by the jury during deliberations did not constitute a mode of proceedings error … . The note contained two questions and two requests for exhibits. While the court initially read only the first substantive question into the record in the presence of counsel before the jury was brought into the courtroom, once the jury was brought in, the court read the remainder of the note aloud, essentially verbatim, stopping at the end of each of the four parts to provide its response. Although the court did not inform counsel in advance about the entirety of the note or give the parties any opportunity for input into the court’s proposed responses, by reading the full contents of the note in the presence of the parties and the jury, the court satisfied its core responsibility … . People v Ramirez, 2015 NY Slip Op 08772, 1st Dept 12-1-15
CRIMINAL LAW (JURY NOTES, O’RAMA ERROR NOT PRESERVED)/JURY NOTES (O’RAMA ERROR NOT PRESERVED)