St. Joseph Michigan Criminal Defense Blog

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Prosecution Loses Guilty Verdicts Due to Misleading Testimony


Everyone deserves a fair trial. With an experienced criminal defense attorney on the job, defendants can be sure the prosecution will play fair in every aspect of the law. In a recent Michigan Supreme Court case, we saw how the prosecution neglected to mention compensation a witness had received from law enforcement for his cooperation. As a result of this misleading testimony, the guilty verdicts were reversed and a new trial became necessary.

‘Substantially Misleading’ Testimony

People v. Smith involved a paid police informant testifying against the defendant charged with armed robbery and murder. During pretrial hearings, it was clear the informant was cooperating with the police in exchange for compensation. However, once the trial began, the prosecution allowed this fact to go by unmentioned, blurring an important line in the case.

In fact, the court found the prosecution “capitalized on and exploited” the fact the jury did not believe the witness was a paid informant. There were a number of other issues involved with the witness’s testimony. Had the jury been aware he was also a paid witness, there would have been little reason for them to believe him.

Protecting Defendants During a Trial

Someone could argue that this point should have been raised repeatedly by the defense before it went to the Supreme Court. A top criminal defense attorney in Berrien County would not let this distinction slip through during the course of a trial and send the jury into deliberation accepting testimony from a witness who was later discredited.

Felony trials often pivot on these small moments when a jury can be led to believe misleading information based on the way a prosecutor manipulates the evidence. If you or someone you care about needs representation against severe charges, only accept the help of the best.

When you need a top criminal defense attorney on your side to win your case, contact Peter J. Johnson Law Office, PLLC at 269.982.1100 to begin preparing for the trial or visit for further information.

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