Kenneth Vercammen & Associates, P.C.
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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

State v. Duane Kelly (A-24-09)

State v. Duane Kelly (A-24-09) 5-4-10

The Court affirms the judgment of the Appellate
Division upholding defendant’s murder, felony-murder,
and armed-robbery convictions. Defendant’s second
trial was not barred by the principles of collateral
estoppel, which are incorporated in the Double
Jeopardy Clause. Because of the seemingly
inconsistent verdicts in the first trial, defendant
cannot establish that the jury determined an ultimate
fact that precluded a retrial of the reversed
convictions. Moreover, even if the verdicts were not
inconsistent, the Court would not be inclined to apply
the constitutional-equitable doctrine of collateral
estoppel when the ultimate issue defendant seeks to
preclude from relitigation is one that might well have
been founded on a defense witness’s perjured
testimony, testimony that tainted both the acquittals and convictions in the first trial.