Criminal Law-Reiterated Contempt of Court

The defendant was found guilty of criminal contempt of court in a civil proceeding for giving “don’t remember” answers, after having been granted immunity from prosecution, to questions concerning his activities, asked during a grand jury investigation of an attempted homicide. For his refusal to testify, the defendant was given the maximum penalty provided for criminal contempt under the applicable statute. After paying the fine and serving the sentence, the defendant was brought before the same grand jury thirty-five days later and was asked the same questions. The defendant repeated the “don’t remember” answers and was again fined and incarcerated. On appeal, held, affirmed, one judge dissenting. The defendant’s refusal to answer at his second appearance before the grand jury constituted a separate and new act of contempt rather than a continuation of the previous refusal. Second Additional Grand Jury v. Cirillo, 12 N.Y.2d 206, 188 N.E.2d 138,237 N.Y.S.2d 709 (1963).