Third Party Culpability Defense Example in New York

In People v. Primo, 96 NY2d 351, 753 N.E.2d 164, 728 N.Y.S.2d 735 (2001), the Court of Appeals expressly adopted the "probative versus prejudice" standard for the admissibility of a third-party culpability defense. The Court cautioned, however, that the "admission of evidence of third-party culpability may not rest on mere suspicion or surmise" (id. at 357), and that "evidence of merely slight, remote or conjectural significance will ordinarily be insufficiently probative to outweigh the countervailing risks" of prejudice, confusion and delay (id. at 355.)