Thursday, January 22, 2015

PowerPoint Justice | The Marshall Project

Building on its 2012 decision in State v. Glassmann the Washington Supreme Court in State v. Walker reverses a murder conviction based on prejudicial power point slides used in summation.  A concurring opinion carefully analyses the prosecutor's missteps. The court reverses on grounds of plain error because the defense attorney failed to object. Another discussion of similar prosecutorial conduct is below. - gwc
PowerPoint Justice | The Marshall Project
by Ken Armstrong
"In Washington state earlier this month, in [State v. Herbin]  the Court of Appeals threw out a murder conviction based on shoddy work by the defense. But the court also took the prosecutor to task for something even stranger: a bad PowerPoint presentation.
The prosecutor had dressed up her closing argument to the jury with a series of slides, complete with “sound effects and animation,” the appellate court wrote. On one slide, footprints materialized across the bottom of the screen. Other slides exhibited “concentric rings of a target,” with each ring corresponding to an item of evidence; the defendant’s name, Sergey Fedoruk, was in the bull’s-eye. The prosecution’s final slide, the pièce de résistance, opened with a header that said “Murder 2.” Then, under the header, a single word flashed, in all capital letters, in 96-point red type:

h/t Legal Ethics Forum
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