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<i>Photo: Jason Doiy/ALM</i> Photo: Jason Doiy/ALM

In what can only be called a highly significant decision, New York’s top court issued a stark reminder about the fundamental fairness of trials. But in this case, the Court of Appeals did not overturn a criminal conviction because of a trial judge’s erroneous legal instructions or because of a prosecutor’s prejudicial statements in summation. Rather, the court aimed this warning shot at a group of trial participants who are pivotal to a criminal defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to fair and impartial fact-finders—jurors.

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