Tuesday, August 08, 2006

S.C. Supreme Court overturns murder conviction because of prosecution's Golden Rule argument

In State V. Reese, Willie Reese was tried and convicted of murdering Teresa Reese. In closing argument, the solicitor asked the jury "Who speaks for Teresa Reese?" He than told the jurors that they did. The defense lodged a timely objection and made a motion for a mistrial. The Supreme Court agreed that this was improper "Golden Rule" argument:"The solicitor argument indisputably asked jurors to abandon their impartiality and view the evidence from terraces viewpoint." Hence, a new trial was granted.

Remember: Key to this case was a timely objection. Had there been no objection, the argument would be been waived and no new trial would have been granted.

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