How improper is it for a prosecutor to repeatedly call a defense witness a liar?
2 attorney answers
It is improper if it can be proven, and especially if it can be shown that the prosecutor actually KNEW that these statements were identical to the statements that were made to the police. This is usually the job of the defense attorney to point this out to the jury. That is the reason why the audio recordings or video recordings of police interviews are produced and turned over as part of "discovery", and why the Defendant has the right to be represented by counsel. It is often difficult to anticipate that the DA will pull stuff like this during trial and to have the ability to play certain "clips" of the police interview to the jury to prove it. I will sometimes (emphasis on "sometimes") have an interview transcribed so that I can refer directly to the transcript where I can show what was actually said in the interview. However, it is really hard to anticipate that this type of situation will come up in trial.
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No, that can be done. The defense attorney can do the same thing to the state's witnesses. The defense attorney also has the opportunity on re-direct to go over or have the witness explain the issues that were raised by the prosecutor. The defense attorney should have a copy of the video or recording of the statement and can play that as well.
Wishing you the best.
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