Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Prosecutor Shows Jury Slow-Motion Video of Murder

In 2007, the defendant shot a police officer in a Dunkin Donuts in Philadelphia. That fact is uncontested. For the jury, the issue was whether the offense was first or second degree murder. There was a surveillance video of the murder, and the prosecutor showed it in slow motion. (Remember the ending of the movie Bonnie and Clyde?) The trial judge overruled the objection that the slow-motion showing would prejudice the jury. The defendant was convicted of first degree murder. 

The issue is now before the state’s Supreme Court. Based on reports of the oral argument. The state’s attorney justified the showing by asserting that the slower video allowed the jury to assess the defendant’s intent. Upon further questioning, the attorney seemed unable to support this statement. Based on reports of the oral argument, I am not sure whether the Court will throw out the trial verdict I am flabbergasted. Commonwealth v. Jordan.



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