Dismissed in the Interest of Justice Reversal in New York

In People v. Arbeiter, 169 Misc 2d 771, 773, 650 N.Y.S.2d 915 (App Term, 1st Dept 1996), a case in which a dismissal in the interest of justice was reversed, the defendants had gathered across the intersection of Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street along the route of the later-to-begin annual St. Patrick Day parade to protest the exclusion of a gay and lesbian contingent from the parade. The defendants' action snarled traffic for an hour. The trial court had decided that a Clayton dismissal was in order because the City had unjustly denied gay and lesbian a permit to hold a counter-parade. The Appellate Term disagreed. It held that although the defendants were demonstrating in support of their sincerely held belief, "sincere beliefs are not an excuse for lawless conduct." (People v. Arbeiter, 169 Misc 2d at 773.)