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People v. Harris

740 N.E.2d 227 (2000)

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People v. Harris

Court of Appeals of the State of New York

740 N.E.2d 227 (2000)

Facts

Lydell Harris (defendant) was in a relationship with Monique Lloyd. Lloyd had previously been unfaithful to Harris with Harris’s long-time friend, Larry Amorose, and once left Harris for Amorose. One day, Amorose began taunting Harris by expressing in crude terms that he could have sex with Lloyd at any time and that she would leave Harris for him again. Harris testified that he completely lost control over his actions in response to Amorose’s taunts. He began hitting Amorose and stated that he just “couldn’t stop” attacking Amorose. Harris ended up killing Amorose. Harris testified that he then started crying and vomiting. With the help of Lloyd, Harris decapitated and dismembered Amorose’s body, put the parts in garbage bags, and discarded the bags in the ocean. Harris confessed to police, stating that during the attack he felt like he was watching a movie and did not have any control. At trial, Harris’s psychiatric expert testified that Harris satisfied the legal definition of extreme emotional disturbance. A jury convicted Harris of second-degree murder. Harris appealed, arguing that the court erred by not submitting Harris’s defense of extreme emotional disturbance to the jury. The Court of Appeals of the State of New York heard the appeal.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Levine, J.)

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