Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sports Analogy Not Reversible Error

The North Carolina Court of Appeals affirmed the first-degree murder conviction of a wife charged with her husband's murder. The court rejected, among other claims, the contention that statements of the prosecutor in opening and closing arguments (not objected to at trial) were sufficiently prejudicial and improper to warrant a new trial. Among the remarks (from the closing):

You let her get go now, she's untouchable, untouchable. All she's got to do is get past you, ladies and gentlemen. You're like the goalie in hockey. If she can get the puck past you, she's home free. And not only is she home free, it's up to you as to whether or not she collects $98,000 in addition to being set free.

The court further held that arguments regarding the credibility of the accused had not been improper. The characterization of her testimony: "you ain't seen a work of fiction sit that long since Gone With The Wind." (Mike Frisch)


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