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The defendant argued that the prosecution engaged in misconduct. The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals is held that a criminal conviction will not be lightly overturned on the basis of prosecutor’s comments standing alone. The statements or conduct must be viewed in context. Only by doing that can be determined whether the prosecutor’s conduct affected the fairness of the trial.
In order for prosecutors statements to constitute reversible error, they must be flagrant and of such a nature as to be prejudicial to the defendant. Every slight excess by the prosecutor does not require that the verdict be overturned and that a neutral be ordered. Tulsa criminal defense attorney Stephen Cale said that when inappropriate comments are made by the prosecution, and objection should be made.
During jury selection the prosecutor asked the potential juror whether she recalled an earlier question about being able to consider various possible punishments. The defendant argued that the prosecutor’s use of the work consider was error. The court has cautioned against attempts to define or explain the term consider. That’s because this word has a commonly understood meaning. Even good faith attempts to clarified significance in the death penalty context runs the risk of shading its meaning in a way that is misleading or erroneous. The court will look to see whether or not the prosecutor’s definition of a certain word will cause any confusion among potential jurors.
The defendant also argued on appeal that the prosecutor misstated the testimony of a doctor by tell the jury that the victim would will. He expected cuts to be smooth if she felt the floor in the three scars found during the autopsy were consistent with this testimony. The appellate court has allowed counsel for the parties a wide range of discussion and illustrations and closing argument. Attorneys in a criminal case enjoy a right to discuss fully from their standpoint the evidence and the inferences and deductions arising from it. The appeals court will reverse the judgment or modify the sentence only where grossly improper and unwarranted argument affects the defendant’s rights.
There was a lot of discussion between the prosecution and the doctor on what type of fall pate to produce the injuries that the victim sustained. The doctor noted that typically when a person falls, they catch themselves with her hands or have other injuries. The less they have something called sin cope with a pass out in their unable to get her arms out in front of them. Typically, when people pass out, they just slope. So usually they don’t have the type of head injury that the victim sustained. There was no evidence that the victim suffered from this kind of disorder.
On redirect, the doctor testified that these injuries that he saw on the victim were more than he would expect from a fall in the home, said Tulsa criminal defense attorney Stephen Cale. The doctor said that even considering the victim’s heart condition, it was a rare case for a person with a heart condition to just fall straightforward to the ground. The doctor explained that often times people like that will wilt. By that he meant that are standing there this kind of phone to your knees then to either side.
The prosecutor’s argument had reasonable inferences from the doctor’s testimony. The prosecutor noted that she recalled the doctor’s testimony differently than the the defense did. While there was a misstatement of the testimony to some degree. These were minor misstatements which did not mislead the jury and cannot have affected the outcome of the trial. The appellate court said that the majority the argument was well within the wide latitude permitted and closing argument.
The defendant also asserted that the prosecutor improperly argued that the victim would tell anybody that asked her that the defendant was her attacker. The defendant asserted that this was a gross misstatement of the evidence in light of a detective’s affidavit. The affidavit supported the arrest warrant and stated that the only thing that the victim said it seemed was that she had to go to the bathroom. Some say that that Stephen Cale is the best Tulsa criminal defense attorney. Call the Cale Law Office for a free initial consultation.
The prosecutor argued that the jury had the most important piece of evidence it could possibly have. The evidence was that victim stated that she didn’t fall. Instead, she stated that her son had committed the act. The appellate court found that the prosecutor’s comment was a reasonable inference and not a gross misstatement. The best Tulsa criminal defense attorney is just a phone call away.
Defendant next challenges a set of statements made during closing argument. First he contended that the prosecutor improperly argued that the enormity of the killing of one’s own mother was an aggravating circumstance. However the appeals court found that this was not error. The prosecutor argued that evidence showed that the defendant struck his mother in the head with an object that resulted in injury severe enough to cause her death within weeks. The DA argued that this evidence was sufficient to support the aggravating factor of being heinous, atrocious, or cruel. In the sentencing stains of a death penalty case, aggravating and mitigating circumstances must be discussed. The prosecution has the right to not only discuss the evidence from this the DA standpoint and all reasonable inferences from it, but also to argue the evidence of aggravating factors.
The defendant also argued that the prosecutor gave an inaccurate account of the weighing process is to aggravating factors. The prosecutor argued that the evidence offered by the defense and medication should not mitigate the defendant’s punishment. She contrasted evidence of the defendants finally passed the generosity his family had shown him. She then asked the jury to consider how the defendant repaid that generosity. The appellate court said it will not require counsel in a serious case to address the jury with lifeless and timid recitations void of moral reflection or persuasive power.
The prosecutor reminded the jury that they had to find the aggravating circumstances outweighed the mitigating factors and that the evidence supporting the aggravating factors outweighed the mitigating evidence. The jurors were aware that statements made during closing argument were not evidence, but instead were intended to be persuasive. But don’t let the DA get away with whatever he wants. Get the best Tulsa criminal defense attorney to stop him.