Can Criminal Defendant Concede the Requirement of Admission Corroboration ?

In People v. Pierre (167 Misc 2d 915, 641 N.Y.S.2d 216), the defendant requested the court not to charge the jury that in order to convict the defendant the jury must find evidence that corroborates the admission. The defendant wished to focus the jury's attention on other issues in the case rather than on his statement. the People opposed the defendant's request and stated that the court must charge the corroboration requirement. The court held that if a defendant wished to concede the requirement of corroboration, the court would accept such a concession over the People's objection. In People v. Harris (177 Misc 2d 903, 679 N.Y.S.2d 242), a defendant indicted for a capital offense offered to stipulate to the identity of the victims of the homicide. The defendant did not want that family members of the deceased generate sympathy by their testimony regarding the identity of the persons killed. The prosecutor opposed the application. Relying on People v. Hills (supra, 140 A.D.2d 71, 532 N.Y.S.2d 269), the court stated that it could not compel the prosecution to stipulate to the identity of the victims because "a court-ordered stipulation might have the effect to rob sic the evidence of much of its fair and legitimate weight improperly interfering with the prosecutor's trial strategy or . . . usurp the role of counsel" (905 quoting Harris).