The Court of Appeals, in a full-fledged opinion by Judge Garcia, determined the consent of the parties is not required for the display of the relevant statutory text on a visualizer during the judge’s response to a jury’s request for supplemental instruction. Consent of the parties is required for allowing the jury to be provided with copies of the statutory text, but not for the display of the text during the supplemental instruction:
When a deliberating jury requests supplemental instruction, Criminal Procedure Law § 310.30 requires the court to provide a meaningful response. When the jury’s request concerns a relevant criminal statute, the law also permits the court to provide the jury with copies of the statutory text, but only with the consent of both parties. This case asks us to decide whether consent of the parties is required before the court, during a readback of the requested law and relevant definitions, may simultaneously display the corresponding text using a visualizer … . We conclude that consent is not required … . …
During deliberations, the jury sent a note asking for “definitions of the law” and later clarified that they were requesting the elements and relevant definitions of the charged crimes. The jury also asked that this information be displayed on the visualizer.
The judge informed counsel that he would comply with this request and project the relevant statutory text so the jury could see it while the judge read the text aloud. Although defense counsel did not object to the material selected for the readback, he did object to the process of displaying the text for the jury, arguing that “placing [the text] on the visualizer is really [no] different from handing them a written copy.” He asserted that once jurors are handed “instructions in written form, whether it is visually or physically, that they then start having the ability to interpret based on how they see the words, [and] what punctuation may or may not be there . . . .” The judge overruled the objection and proceeded as he had described to the parties. A short time later, the jury convicted defendant on two counts and acquitted him on one count of criminal possession of a weapon. People v Williams, 2021 NY Slip Op 06426, Ct App 11-18-21