"In these criminal proceedings, the Appellate Division, pursuant to CPL 470.60 (1), dismissed defendants' direct appeals from their judgments of conviction prior to their hearing and disposition. Both defendants filed timely notices of appeal, but were involuntarily deported by the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau (ICE) while their appeals were pending. The common issue presented is whether the Appellate Division abused its discretion in dismissing these appeals. We hold it did. ... As a matter of fundamental fairness, all criminal defendants shall be permitted to avail themselves of intermediate appellate courts as "the State has provided an absolute right to seek review in criminal proceedings" (Montgomery, 24 NY2d at 132)." - People v. Ventura, Oct. 25, 2011.