Saturday, April 24, 2010

Could a Heart Attack During A Trial Help a Defendent in Court?

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Graveline wrote in a motion that after the judge told the jury about the heart attack “many jurors in their body language and facial expressions, rightly expressed concern for Mr. Cicchetti.” The prosecutor said the government did not object to the judge telling the jury about the heart attack because it assumed that Cicchetti would be prosecuted later before a different jury.

“It is only natural for the jury to feel sympathy for Mr. Cicchetti’s condition and this sympathy may well play into its consideration of the evidence against Mr. Cicchetti especially in light of his defense that he is a sick harmless older man who is only guilty of loving motorcycles and cocaine.”

“The government believes that allowing Mr. Cicchetti to continue in absentia would prejudice its ability to have a fair hearing and that there would be a high probability that an extrinsic factor, i.e. the defendant’s health, could affect the jury’s decision rather than the evidence presented in court.”

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