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sequestration Archives

Conviction Reversed Due to Witness Sequestration Violation

In a criminal trial, sequestration of witnesses refers to preventing witnesses who may testify in the trial from hearing the testimony offered by other witnesses. The purpose of the rule is to prevent witness testimony from being affected by hearing what an earlier testifying witness has said. Though a prosecutor may sometimes keep an investigator or other party essential to the presentation of the case at the prosecutor's table during trial, that person should generally be called as the first witness in the State's case if that person intends to testify at all. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Cooper, M2013-01084-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 12-17-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals reversed a conviction due to the State's violation of this principle.

Conviction Reversed Due to Witness Sequestration Violation

In a criminal trial, sequestration of witnesses refers to preventing witnesses who may testify in the trial from hearing the testimony offered by other witnesses. The purpose of the rule is to prevent witness testimony from being affected by hearing what an earlier testifying witness has said. Though a prosecutor may sometimes keep an investigator or other party essential to the presentation of the case at the prosecutor's table during trial, that person should generally be called as the first witness in the State's case if that person intends to testify at all. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Cooper, M2013-01084-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 12-17-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals reversed a conviction due to the State's violation of this principle.

Exemption of Detective from Sequestration Rule Affirmed

In criminal trials, witness sequestration refers to excluding people who plan to testify from the courtroom while other witnesses are testifying. The purpose of witness sequestration is to prevent a witness' testimony from being influenced by the testimony of other witnesses. The rule is not absolute, of course. The defendant in a case has the right to be present throughout the trial, regardless of whether the defendant plans to testify. In the trial court's discretion, other witnesses essential to the presentation of the case may also be allowed to remain in the courtroom. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Presson, W2012-00023-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 4-24-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed a trial court ruling allowing the State's lead detective to remain in the courtroom during a trial for rape of a child and aggravated sexual battery.

Exemption of Detective from Sequestration Rule Affirmed

In criminal trials, witness sequestration refers to excluding people who plan to testify from the courtroom while other witnesses are testifying. The purpose of witness sequestration is to prevent a witness' testimony from being influenced by the testimony of other witnesses. The rule is not absolute, of course. The defendant in a case has the right to be present throughout the trial, regardless of whether the defendant plans to testify. In the trial court's discretion, other witnesses essential to the presentation of the case may also be allowed to remain in the courtroom. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Presson, W2012-00023-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 4-24-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed a trial court ruling allowing the State's lead detective to remain in the courtroom during a trial for rape of a child and aggravated sexual battery.

Exemption of Detective from Sequestration Rule Affirmed

In criminal trials, witness sequestration refers to excluding people who plan to testify from the courtroom while other witnesses are testifying. The purpose of witness sequestration is to prevent a witness' testimony from being influenced by the testimony of other witnesses. The rule is not absolute, of course. The defendant in a case has the right to be present throughout the trial, regardless of whether the defendant plans to testify. In the trial court's discretion, other witnesses essential to the presentation of the case may also be allowed to remain in the courtroom. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Presson, W2012-00023-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 4-24-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed a trial court ruling allowing the State's lead detective to remain in the courtroom during a trial for rape of a child and aggravated sexual battery.

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