During questioning, can a prosecutor repeatedly ask questions to insinuate the witness is lying, and never offer any proof or explanation of the supposed lie? Like claiming the testimony wasn't the same from when they spoke to police, but never reference were in the police statement they are referencing, or repeatedly claiming portions of their testimony was "new" information that was never told to the police even though it actually was told to the police but the officer didn't put it in the typed report, its in the recorded interview. Or can a prosecutor just flat out state "were you lying to the police or are you lying now," but again, never reference where in the police report the prosecutor is claiming to be different or a lie? Or worse, is it prosecutorial misconduct for the state to constantly claim that the defense witness is lying because their version of events is different than one of their witnesses, even though they know that the defense witness testimony is a more accurate description of what happened? And, can a prosecutor say to the jury during closing arguments that the defense witness "is here lying" to protect the defendant?
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.
This answer is for general information purposes only. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. Since this is a public forum, the information provided is not protected by the attorney-client privilege.
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.
This communication is for the purposes of general advice only. This communication does not form any contractual obligation on behalf of Attorney Stephen W. Sawyer or the Law Offices of Stephen W. Sawyer.
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