Law Updates for July 29, 2011

Yusrael, 36 FLW 1584, 1st DCA, Judge committed fundamental error and violated due process where, during sentencing, the judge questioned defendant about two other charges for sex battery. One was pending and the other was dismissed. The Court comments that the other victims did not want to testify and questioned defendant whether he raped these children, strongly indicated they were factors in the court's sentencing. Remanded for sentencing by a different judge. Bravo II, 36 flw 1591, 1st DCA, Trial court abused its discretion in denying defendant's motion in limine to exclude testimony regarding defendant's refusal to consent to officer's request to conduct a warrantless search of his home for a gun. Officer's testimony was irrelevant where defendant never contended that he did not own a gun or point a gun at the victim, instead argued he acted out of fear and self-defense. Not harmless. Prosecutor comments in closing using this testimony to urge the jurors to question the credibility of defense theory of self-defense could not say beyond a reasonable doubt did not influence jury. The Law Offices of Roger P. Foley,P.A.

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