Friday, January 30, 2015

Fine line between presenting evidence and being inflammatory

Interesting article today in the American Bar Association Journal about the prosecutor's use of 250 powerpoint slides in his closing.  The Washington Supreme Court overturned the conviction stating the presentation amounted to “egregious misconduct” during the trial of Odies Walker.

The powerpoint presentation included over one hundred slides with the caption “defendant Walker guilty of premeditated murder.”

“Closing argument provides an opportunity to draw the jury’s attention to the evidence presented, but it does not give a prosecutor the right to present altered versions of admitted evidence to support the state’s theory of the case, to present derogatory depictions of the defendant, or to express personal opinions on the defendant’s guilt,” the opinion said.

What is interesting is the quote from the prosecutor stating that the evidence was overwhelming and that he plans on asking the US Supreme Court to review.  If the evidence was overwhelming...why was it necessary to resort to this type of prosecutorial misconduct?  The evidence should speak for itself.  The other issue is that this prosecutor just doesn't get it.  It doesn't matter if the guilt is overwhelming...he still has to do his job correctly and ethically.  The ends DO NOT justify the means if the result is an erosion of our judicial system to the point that we do not need evidence...just the prosecutor's opinion.

Here is link to the article:

No comments:

Post a Comment