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Breaking Legal Developments

04-01-2002

Published by:
Peter A. Lynch, Esq.
of Cozen O'Connor
palynch@cozen.com
http://www.cozen.com

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:      This weekly newsletter covers:

  1. Connecticut Supreme Court Reverses Arson Conviction


(1) CONNECTICUT SUPREME COURT REVERSES ARSON CONVICTION

In State v. Singh, (PDF Format) No. SC 16476 (Mar. 26, 2002), the Connecticut Supreme Court reviewed the defendant's arson conviction. His basement restaurant burned after the defendant was seen at the restaurant. On appeal the defendant contended he did not receive a fair trial.

The Supreme Court found many of the irregularities were not serious. However, four were found serious enough to reverse the conviction and remand for a new trial. The court found asking a witness to comment on another witnesses veracity to be not proper. An argument that to believe the defendant a witness lied was held to be error. A remark about investigators may have pumped gasoline and wore the shoes to the defendant's apartment was also error as being without evidentiary support. Remarks suggesting the defendant may have destroyed clothes was not proper. Lastly suggesting the jury's duty of loyalty lay with the prosecution was also not proper. The court noted combining all of those errors necessitated granting a new trial to the defendant.

Mr. Lynch can be reached at Cozen and O'Connor, 501 West Broadway, Suite 1610, San Diego, California 92101, 800-782-3366 (voice), 619-234-7831 (fax), palynch@cozen.com (e-mail), http://www.cozen.com. Follow us on Twitter at @firesandrain.

Please direct comments, suggestions, stories, and other items to the author by e-mail at palynch@cozen.com

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