Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Supreme Court decides a case on possible prosecutorial misconduct
While there are other cases capturing the attention of the public over at the Supreme Court, about two weeks ago, the Court handed down an interesting (and short) opinion on whether, as part of a closing argument, a prosecutor can suggest that the defendant, his attorney, and an expert witness (psychiatrist) colluded to fabricate a defense if the prosecutor subsequently states that it was not unethical for the defense attorney to do so. In response, the Court found that the prosecutor's statements taken together did not rise to the level of violating the defendant's due process rights. The case is called Parker v. Matthews and it is available here. The Legal Ethics Forum has more details and a short debate in the comments section (here). I think the decision is wrong and that the conviction should have been reversed because of the prosecutor's comments. If you search here for "prosecutor's comments" you will find a number of cases in which court's have reversed convictions in similar cases.