Boston v. People – Case Brief Summary (Virgin Islands)

In Boston v. People, 56 V.I. 634, 645 (V.I. 2012), the Court held that "the interest associated with complying with appellate procedures is not adequate to warrant treating co-defendants differently on appeal." Id

Essentially, the "disparate treatment of identically situated co-defendants constitutes 'manifest injustice' " and may result in this Court addressing an issue raised by one defendant but waived by another. Boston, 56 V.I. at 644-45.

In Boston, one co-defendant argued on appeal that the Superior Court abused its discretion by denying the co-defendant's motion for a new trial without conducting an evidentiary hearing regarding juror misconduct. Id. at 644.

The Court reasoned that where a co-defendant properly raises an issue predicated on the same facts from the same trial, and the People have had the "opportunity to fully brief" the same issue, then "it would be manifestly unjust to remand" one co-defendant's case and not the other co-defendant's case. Id. at 645-46.