Prosecutorial Misconduct in Closing Argument

It is common in criminal trials for the attorneys to attack the credibility of their opponent. Defense counsel should object, even if it is in front of the jury, when the attacks go over the line. In People v. Seumanu (2015) 61 Cal.4th 1293 the Court of Appeal said that the prosecutor went over the line when she implied that defense counsel knew his client was guilty, and that counsel put forward a sham defense that he knew was false. Likewise the court found misconduct for a prosecutor to claim that the defense counsel did not have a genuine belief in his/her t client’s innocence. In People v. Ledesma (II) (2006) 39 Cal.4th 641 it was misconduct for the prosecutor to argue that there was an “effort in this case to introduce things for your consideration that were introduced perhaps by inappropriate questions. I think you know what I am referring to.”
Defense counsel must object and ask the Court to not only sustain the objection but to also instruct the jury to disregard the comment AND to instruct the jury that the comment was improper.

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10.0Daniel Horowitz
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