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    Suzanne L. Bailey

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    CRIMINAL LAW: Prosecutorial Misconduct in Closing Argument

    Posted by Suzanne L. Bailey on Wed, Mar 25, 2015 @ 11:03 AM

    The Lawletter Vol 40 No 1

    Suzanne Bailey, Senior Attorney, National Legal Research Group

         A recent en banc decision from the Supreme Court of Washington serves as a reminder of the bedrock upon which our criminal justice system stands, that is, that every defendant is entitled to a presumption of innocence, which is overcome only when the State proves guilt beyond a reasonable doubt as determined by an impartial jury based on evidence presented at a fair trial. In State v. Walker, 341 P.3d 976 (Wash. 2015) (en banc), the defendant was charged as an accomplice to aggravated first-degree premeditated murder, first-degree felony murder, first-degree assault, first-degree robbery, first-degree solicitation to commit robbery, and first-degree conspiracy to commit robbery in connection with an armored truck robbery at the Walmart where the defendant's live-in girlfriend was employed. The defendant was convicted of all charges, and he subsequently appealed, claiming, inter alia, that he had been denied a fair trial due to prosecutorial misconduct in closing argument.

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    Topics: criminal, guilt beyond reasonable doubt, prosecutorial misconduct, presumption of innocence

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