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County Court v. Allen

    Brief Fact Summary. New York law presumed that a firearm in a vehicle is presumed to be possessed by all occupants of that vehicle.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law. “An [evidentiary] device must no undermine the factfinder’s responsibility at trial, based on evidence adduced by the State, to find the ultimate facts beyond a reasonable doubt.”

    Facts. The respondents, three adults were tried on charged that they possessed three firearms and a pound of heroin in the car they were riding in. Two pistols were in plain view. A machine gun and the heroin were found in the trunk. The car had been borrowed from the driver’s brother. The trial court held that the jury could infer possession from the defendants’ presence.

    Issue. Whether a defendant may challenge as unconstitutional a New York statute that “provides.


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