(Portion I: ODD Legislation IN COLORADO)
In courtroom dramas on Tv set or in the films, there’s typically a scene the place a witness, even immediately after swearing on a stack of Bibles and his lifeless mother’s grave that he will notify the reality, the whole reality and very little but the real truth, takes the witness stand and then says a thing which is not legitimate.
On-display, a single of the lawyers leaps to their feet, details their finger at the witness, and shouts for the whole courtroom to hear:
In the State of Colorado, nonetheless, this can by no means occur – there are no “lies” or “liars” in Colorado courts.
In Colorado, as the Colorado Supreme Court wrote in the scenario of Crider v. Folks, 186 P.3d 39, 41 (Colo. 2008), “it is incorrect for a lawyer to use any variety of the term ‘lie’ in characterizing for a jury a witness’s testimony or his truthfulness.”
That specific word is banned “for a amount of good reasons. It is prohibited not only because it poses a possibility of speaking the lawyer’s particular impression about the veracity of a witness and implying that the lawyer is privy to info not just before the jury, but also simply since the phrase ‘lie’ is an inflammatory term, probable (no matter whether or not truly designed) to evoke powerful and adverse psychological reactions in opposition to the witness.”
As considerably again as in 1981, the Colorado Supreme Court docket has stated, as they did in the situation of Hughes v. Condition, 437 A. 2d 559, 571 (Colo. 1981), “In our belief, ‘liar’ is an epithet to be utilized sparingly in argument to the jury. It is a flashboard more likely to make heat in a contentious courtroom than it is to illuminate the look for for real truth. […] We say this because a witness or a bash might be mistaken, uninformed, or erroneous in his facts or conclusions in many approaches, and but not be a liar labeling a witness as a ‘liar’ or to argue that he has ‘lied’ is to say some thing very unique about his testimony.”
“Some text or analogies by their extremely mother nature resonate more powerfully in the heart and minds of the jury,” the Colorado Supreme Court wrote in the case of Domingo-Gomez v. Men and women, 125 P.3d 1043 1050 (Colo. 2005). These kinds of terms “evoke solid reactions in jurors and just take them down the route toward a conviction exactly where the evidence does not essentially guide. The term ‘lie’ is this kind of a potent expression that it always reflects the personal feeling of the speaker. When spoken by the State’s agent in the courtroom, the phrase ‘lie’ has the dangerous possible of swaying the jury from their duty to identify the accused’s guilt or innocence on the proof thoroughly introduced at demo.”
In other phrases, if a lawyer phone calls anything a “lie,” it is these a surprising curse that a jury might not be in a position to get around it, and may possibly convict an usually harmless human being, just simply because they experience so strongly about “liars.”
As a result, no lawyer is authorized to ever use any variation of the phrase “lie” in Colorado courtrooms.
When odd laws are entertaining to read about, we know that when you are sitting down in the courtroom, it is almost never enjoyable or entertaining. The experienced criminal defense crew at The Law Offices of Steven Rodemer is here to enable you navigate the criminal justice method and ensure your legal rights are secured all through the system. Get hold of us these days to guarantee you get the skilled lawful illustration you are entitled to.