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12/03/75 PEOPLE v. GLORIA WILLIAMS

December 3, 1975

PEOPLE
v.
GLORIA WILLIAMS



Appeal from Recorder's Court of Detroit, Geraldine Bledsoe Ford, J.

J. H. Gillis, P. J., and Bronson and T. M. Burns, JJ. T. M. Burns, J., concurred. Bronson, J. (concurring).

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

Opinion of the Court

1. -- Prosecutors -- Closing Argument -- Inferences.

A prosecutor may draw reasonable inferences based on the evidence in his closing argument.

2. -- Jury -- Prosecutor's Remarks -- Diverting Jury From Duty.

A prosecutor must refrain from argument which would divert the jury from its duty to decide the case on the evidence and must not inject issues broader than the guilt or innocence of the accused under the controlling law.

3. -- Jury -- Evaluating Guilt or Innocence -- Prosecutor's Remarks -- Jurors' Emotions -- Social Problems.

A prosecutor must exercise special care to avoid arousing jurors' emotions concerning social problems, because their emotional reaction to social problems should play no role in the evaluation of an individual's guilt or innocence.

4. -- Appeal and Error -- Jury -- Prosecutor's Remarks -- Improper Argument.

A defendant's conviction must be reversed where a court allowed a prosecutor to argue that the jurors had an "opportunity to effect the drug traffic in this city", and thereby appeal to the jurors' fears and encourage them to go outside the evidence and decide the case on the basis of their desire to alleviate the drug problem.

Concurring by Bronson, J.

5. -- Appeal and Error -- Manifest InJustice -- Prosecutor's Remarks.

A defendant's conviction must be reversed where the prosecutor indulged in a whole series of comments characterizing defendant as the operator of a dope house, which allegation was not supported by the evidence and focused the attention of the jury on issues broader than the guilt or innocence ...


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