Oct 25, 2011

Immigration Crackdown: NY court rules deported immigrants entitled to appeals

WSJ.com: "New York's top court ruled Tuesday that two immigrants who had been in the United States legally are entitled to appeal criminal convictions even though they've been deported after being released from jail. Carlos Ventura and Damian Gardner were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which sent Ventura back to the Dominican Republic in 2008. Gardner was deported to Jamaica in 2009.

A midlevel court dismissed Ventura's appeal, saying he was unavailable to fight the case. It likewise rejected the appeal of Gardner. Both had claimed there was insufficient evidence to support their convictions in Queens. The Court of Appeals on Tuesday ordered reviews of both cases on the merits, noting they were unlike those where defendants forfeit their appeal rights by running away.

"Ventura and Gardner had an absolute right to seek appellate review of their convictions," Judge Theodore Jones Jr. wrote. He cited the New York statute that codifies a criminal defendant's common law right to appeal to an intermediate court." read more

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