Wednesday, December 9, 2009
The Arizona Supreme Court has adopted the recommendation of a hearing officer of a 30 day suspension and probation of a prosecutor for a wide and persistent array of ethics violations during a trial. The hearing officer had found that the prosecutor had, among other things, argued facts not in evidence, asked improper questions, expressed personal opinions about guilt and otherwise behaved in a manner that should provide a training lesson of how not to conduct a criminal trial.
In final argument, he stated to the jury: "Ladies and Gentlemen, you've been presented a case that is as strong a case as a prosecutor can present you in a court of law." In his rebuttal argument, he told the jurors "The law requires that I not prove this case beyond all doubt, but only that you have to feel comfortable in your decision that [the defendant] is guilty."
The trial lasted five months on charges that the defendant had raped a victim and then pistol whipped the rape victim's significant other and then fatally shot him in the head. (Mike Frisch)