Asked in Uncategorized for Michigan

Q: If a victim in an alleged CSC case has been killed in a horrific car accident Should the jury selected be aware of this

Or would that taint the jury to grant a sympathy guilty verdict? Would the defendant be assured a fair trial?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Jury selection is different from trial. The seated jury - the people who are selected to actually hear the case - can make a verdict only on what is presented in court, not by what was mentioned during jury selection.

If the victim is now unavailable, the rules of evidence may allow the prosecutor to present some other evidence of what the victim claims. That all is very fact-dependent, but usually involves statements the victim made to the police or if the defendant held a preliminary exam, statements the victim made there.

It is possible to still be found guilty of a crime without a victim, but obviously not having a victim available to testify makes the prosecutor's job harder.

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