Friday, November 03, 2006
Arrested? Dial 1-800-LIAR! Nebraska Supreme court finds plain error when histrionic Prosecutor alleged defense attorneys mislead juries when defending clientsState v. Barfield, 272 Neb. 502 Filed November 3, 2006. No. S-05-973. Revival meeting prosecutor accused drug ring leader of being a "vicious dictator who rules with intimidation and tyranny like a two-headed hydra." The prosecuting attorney went further by complimenting defense counsel's advertising: You know, in 20 years as a prosecutor the hardest thing I think I've had to do is sit there with a straight face when a criminal defense lawyer had to look up the definition of "lie" in a dictionary. Why, I thought that was printed on the back of their business cards. Defense counsel did not object during argument. "Considering the cumulative effect and the egregious nature of the prosecutor's comments presented here, we similarly conclude that to leave such conduct uncorrected would result in damage to the integrity, reputation, and fairness of the judicial process. We again emphasize that the remarks made by the prosecutor, especially the prosecutor's statement to the effect that defense lawyers are liars, are of a very serious nature. In addition, the prosecutor's unacceptable remarks do not reflect a single, isolated instance, but were numerous. Moreover, because the disparaging remark as to defense attorneys was made during rebuttal, defense counsel had no opportunity to respond to and mitigate the last impression left with the jury before deliberations: that defense counsel, like all defense lawyers, was a liar."
Posted by stan_sipple at 3:10 PM