September 04, 2008

ID: tears of a clown

From the Spokesman-Review:

Mistrial declared after tearful opening argument

A prosecutor’s emotional and tearful opening argument in a domestic violence case prompted a Kootenai County judge to declare a mistrial Wednesday. First District Judge Fred Gibler initially assumed Deputy Prosecutor Shane Greenbank’s voice was cracking because the prosecutor was “possibly forgetting some witnesses’ names.” Then, when Greenbank asked for a tissue, Gibler “assumed it was an allergy.”

But as Greenbank continued... Gibler became concerned the prosecutor was emotionally involved in the case and that it might influence jurors, according to minutes from Wednesday’s trial of Grant Gosch on domestic violence charges. Gibler said Greenbank “crossed the line...” Defense attorney Staci Anderson sought the mistrial... “The state was crying during its opening statements and asking for a tissue,” Anderson pointed out. “If Mr. Greenbank is not ready to handle this case, then possibly another prosecutor can come down...”

The judge said Greenbank’s “emotional involvement with the case was affecting the jury...” “In recent case the Court of Appeals has singled out the Kootenai County Prosecutor’s Office for appealing to the passions or prejudice of the jury,” Gibler said. “The entire system has a right to expect the prosecutor to conduct their case in a non-prejudicial manner.”

Via Huckleberries Online.

1 Comment:

Jen said...

Is crying in a closing ok?