Trial Counsel argument on the merits

Colin Miller, Thieves Like Them: Court Of Appeals Of Minnesota Explains The Boundaries Of Proper Prosecutorial Comment During Closing, 17 April 2009.

It is well established that a prosecutor may not belittle or disparage the defendant(‘s case) during closing argument. At the same time, "[a] prosecutor has discretion to fashion a persuasive closing argument, and the rhetoric need not be colorless."

Peterson subsequently appealed, claiming that the prosecutor’s comments crossed the line mentioned above. The Court of Appeals disagreed, finding "that the prosecutor did not characterize appellants defense as ridiculous or otherwise." It distinguished the case before it from cases where prosecutors referred to the defense as "soddy" or "ridiculous" or suggested that the jurors would be “suckers” or "snowed" if they believed the defense.

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