George Kanellopoulos – NY State Bar # 4472197
Assistant District Attorney
Law professors filed a grievance regarding George Kanellopoulos’ summation misconduct in People v. Paul E. Manigat, which he prosecuted on behalf of the Queens District Attorney’s Office (QDAO).
In Manigat, the Appellate Division found that Kanellopoulos violated the trial judge’s order and committed summation misconduct. Although the trial judge instructed the jury to ignore an outburst by Paul Manigat during the trial, Kanellopoulos referenced this outburst in his summation, making an improper propensity inference. The trial judge sustained the objection to this summation comment, but Kanellopoulos was undeterred and referenced the outburst a second time.
Despite the findings of misconduct noted in this grievance, as of the writing of this grievance, the New York Attorney Detail Report lists “Disciplinary History: No record of public discipline” for Kanellopoulos. This prosecutor’s behavior is far from justice.
Kanellopoulos’ misconduct in Queens was far from unique; serious misconduct at QDAO has been regularly reported for years.
Powerful positions require the highest accountability. We cannot reward prosecutors for breaking the rules.