Conviction for Standing in Times Sq. Is Overturned

The New York Times has an article in today’s NY/Region section reporting that “The Court of Appeals, New York State’s highest court, threw out the conviction yesterday of a man who was arrested for standing and not moving on a Times Square corner in 2004. The man, Matthew Jones, was on the corner of 42nd Street and Seventh Avenue in the early morning of June 12, 2004, chatting with friends as other pedestrians tried to get by.”

Jones was charged in Manhattan, by information, with disorderly conduct under New York Penal Law § 240.20. Writing for the court, Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick concluded that the allegations in the document used to charge Mr. Jones did not meet the burden of factual proof required. “Nothing in the information indicates how the defendant, when he stood in the middle of a sidewalk at 2:01 a.m., had the intent to or recklessly created a risk of causing ‘public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm,’” Judge Ciparick wrote.

Yesterday’s ruling from the New York State Court of Appeals is available here.