Thursday, October 7, 2010
Yet another conviction reversal because of prosecutor's improper comments
About a month ago, I posted a comment about yet another case reversing a conviction due to the prosecutor's improper comments during the trial (see here). That one was the fourth such case I had heard about in a month. Now, just short of a month later, here is a fifth case. In this new case, called People v Vance, the prosecutor asked the jurors to imagine how the victim must have felt as he was dying and attempted to narrate the last moments of his life in detail. Defense counsel objected and the judge sustained the objection but the prosecutor continued with the same type of argument even after the objection was sustained several times. There is no way to know whether the prosecutor really knew that what she was doing was wrong, but what we do now is that she is not likely to be disciplined (see here). Now that the conviction has been reversed, hopefully she and other prosecutor do know that such tactics are not only wrong but also counterproductive. For a description of the case, including the actual comments by the prosecutor go to the Legal Ethics Forum here.