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closing argument Archives

Closing Argument Not a 'Golden Rule' Violation

Closing argument in a criminal trial is an opportunity for each side to summarize evidence and a theory of the case. Closing argument is an important part of the trial and the last opportunity each side has to directly address the jury about the evidence and theories. Though Tennessee courts do not want to unduly restrict these arguments, attorneys still must conduct them professionally and consistently with the principles of a fair trial. In the recent case of State v. Sanders, M2014-02535-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 9-18-15), the Court of Criminal Appeals rejected the contention that a prosecutor's closing argument was a violation of the 'golden rule.'

Convictions Reversed For Misconduct in Closing Argument

Closing argument is an opportunity for each side in a trial to present their theory of the case after the evidence has been presented, and to attempt to persuade the jury that the evidence supports that side's theory, and/or does not support the theory presented by the opposing side. However, attorneys making closing arguments are not allowed to just say anything they want. Their arguments must be made within the confines of rules governing attorney ethics and the conduct of trials. In the recent Tennessee criminal case of State v. Wheeler, W2013-02765-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 3-11-2015), the Court of Criminal Appeals reversed trial court convictions for forgery and attempted theft due the prosecutor's improper statements during closing argument.

Convictions Reversed For Misconduct in Closing Argument

Closing argument is an opportunity for each side in a trial to present their theory of the case after the evidence has been presented, and to attempt to persuade the jury that the evidence supports that side's theory, and/or does not support the theory presented by the opposing side. However, attorneys making closing arguments are not allowed to just say anything they want. Their arguments must be made within the confines of rules governing attorney ethics and the conduct of trials. In the recent Tennessee criminal case of State v. Wheeler, W2013-02765-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 3-11-2015), the Court of Criminal Appeals reversed trial court convictions for forgery and attempted theft due the prosecutor's improper statements during closing argument.

Convictions Reversed For Misconduct in Closing Argument

Closing argument is an opportunity for each side in a trial to present their theory of the case after the evidence has been presented, and to attempt to persuade the jury that the evidence supports that side's theory, and/or does not support the theory presented by the opposing side. However, attorneys making closing arguments are not allowed to just say anything they want. Their arguments must be made within the confines of rules governing attorney ethics and the conduct of trials. In the recent Tennessee criminal case of State v. Wheeler, W2013-02765-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 3-11-2015), the Court of Criminal Appeals reversed trial court convictions for forgery and attempted theft due the prosecutor's improper statements during closing argument.

Limitation on Closing Argument Affirmed

In a criminal trial, closing argument is the opportunity for each side to summarize their theories of the case. There is flexibility for each side to present a theory. But the arguments are still limited to the facts in evidence and reasonable inferences from those facts. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Krasovic, M2013-00607-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 6-26-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals upheld a trial court's limitation on the defense description of events leading to convictions for vehicular homicide and reckless endangerment.

Limitation on Closing Argument Affirmed

In a criminal trial, closing argument is the opportunity for each side to summarize their theories of the case. There is flexibility for each side to present a theory. But the arguments are still limited to the facts in evidence and reasonable inferences from those facts. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Krasovic, M2013-00607-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 6-26-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals upheld a trial court's limitation on the defense description of events leading to convictions for vehicular homicide and reckless endangerment.

Limitation on Closing Argument Affirmed

In a criminal trial, closing argument is the opportunity for each side to summarize their theories of the case. There is flexibility for each side to present a theory. But the arguments are still limited to the facts in evidence and reasonable inferences from those facts. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Krasovic, M2013-00607-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 6-26-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals upheld a trial court's limitation on the defense description of events leading to convictions for vehicular homicide and reckless endangerment.

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