Frank J. LaBuda (born 15 December 1949) is a New York Supreme Court Justice in Sullivan County, New York. He is currently[when?] the elected Sullivan County Court Judge and Surrogate and has served since 1997.
Early life and education
In 1967, LaBuda graduated from high school in the Bronx. Three and a half years later, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from City University. He then went on to receive a J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, Ohio.
In 1978, he became Chief Assistant District Attorney in Sullivan County, New York and stayed at that position until 1989. Subsequently, LaBuda was elected Town Justice in the Town of Mamakating in Sullivan County, and served four years.
LaBuda served in the Judge Advocate General's Corps, United States Army in the Gulf War, as a Major in the 301st Logistical Support group. He also served in the 2003 Iraq War. LaBuda is also past President of the Wurtsboro Fire Co. #1 and a past President of the Sullivan County Volunteer Fireman's Association.
Judge LaBuda will reach mandatory retirement age for New York County Court Judges in December 2019, and must therefore retire at the end of that year.
People v. Carl Colberg
In Colberg, LaBuda held that "battered person syndrome" can be used as a defense in criminal cases. Previously, "battered woman defense" was the only "battered" defense available. In this case, Colberg, who allegedly had a history of alcohol and prescription drug abuse, broke down his parent's bedroom door and moved toward them in an "uncontrollable rage." His father shot and killed his son, and the defense counsel wanted to present the son's history of physical and verbal abuse toward his parents to make out a case that the shooting was justified as self-defense.
People v. Embry
Paul Embry was sentenced to a six-year determinate sentence for burglary. At that time, New York had passed a law requiring defendants such as Embry to be given an additional term of six months post release supervision (PRS). However, in Embry's case, he was not given the PRS at his sentencing. The Department of Corrections added the PRS to his sentence when he initially began serving his prison sentence.
In another similar case, the New York Court of Appeals held that a term of PRS is invalid if it is added to a sentence by DOCS. The Court of Appeals said that a sentence is only valid if it is pronounced by a judicial officer, not DOCS.
Subsequent to this Court of Appeals decision, the prosecution filed a motion to have Embry resentenced to term of PRS. Embry argued that a resenticing violates his double jeopardy rights.
People v. Robar
In Robar, LaBuda held that the ban on discriminatory use of peremptory challenges, first announced by the Supreme Court in Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986), applied not only to race or gender (see J.E.B. v. Alabama, 511 U.S. 127 (1994)), but also to the discrete class of "hunters". LaBuda declared, "To systematically exclude that recognized and defined class of people in a jury trial is something that raises the court's attention under Luciano [v. New York]." In Luciano, the New York Court of Appeals defined the scope of Batson as including "race, gender or any other status that implicates equal protection concerns."
- Levine, Mike (2007-01-15). "War is Hell; AND so is Life Sometimes". Times Herald-Record. Retrieved 2008-03-27.
- "New York Const. Article VI, Sec. 25(b)".
- Riccardi, Michael (1999-12-18). "Battered Woman's Syndrome Applies to Men Too, Judge Finds". New York Law Journal.
- Wise, Daniel (2010-09-03). "Barring Hunters From Jury Panel Violates 'Batson,' Judge Finds". New York Law Journal. Retrieved 2010-09-07.