The judgment convicted appellant of the sale (first count) and possession (second count) of a narcotic drug, marijuana, sentenced him to a term of five to seven years on the first criminal count and suspended sentence on the second count. The evidence produced by the prosecution indicated that appellant had sold marijuana to a person, who was employed by the Suffolk County Police Department at $75 a week to uncover evidence and otherwise entrap suspects in connection with the sale of narcotics. He had entered such employ around June, 1965, after he had been convicted of petty larceny and given a suspended sentence.
A Suffolk County Criminal Drug Crime lawyer said that the sale was allegedly made in September 1965, in West Sayville, Appellant testified on his own behalf and denied that he had sold any marijuana. Moreover, he maintained that he was at his karate school, at the time of the alleged sale. His alibi was a plausible one and, moreover, there was testimony from ostensibly disinterested witnesses tending to support it, thus creating a close question as to whether he was present at the time and place when and where the sale allegedly took place. Yet, there was not a single instruction to the jury on alibi. Appellant’s attorney requested an instruction thereon.
In court’s opinion, the response of the court was not only inadequate but also unclear. Under the circumstances of the case, the court should have charged substantially as follows: ‘If proof as to an Alibi raises a reasonable doubt in the minds of the jury as to whether the accused was present at the place and time where and when the crime was committed, the accused is entitled to have the defense fairly treated like any other defense and is not obliged to establish that it was impossible for him to commit the act charged. If under the evidence tending, if true, to prove an Alibi, it may have been Possible for the defendant to have committed the crime, it is still for the jury to determine whether, if the evidence is true, he availed himself of the possibility it afforded. If proof as to an Alibi, when taken into consideration with all the other evidence, raises a reasonable doubt as to the defendant’s guilt, he is entitled to an acquittal’. In other words, it is not necessary or required that a defendant should show that it was impossible for him to have committed the crime. Under the circumstances, and in the interests of justice, the conviction should be reversed and a new trial ordered.