Appeal: State of Washington v. Edo Aslanyan, Case No. 63142-0-I (Div. 1).
Court Rejects Prosecutorial Misconduct Claim Where Prosecutor Made References to Anti-Semitism.
The Court of Appeals has rejected a prosecutorial misconduct claim where the prosecutor made several gratuitous references to anti-Semitism in closing argument. The defendant was charged with first degreeassault after shooting a man in the course of a fight. The shooting victim claimed he confronted the defendant because a Jewish friend had been insulted at the defendant's party. The issue of anti-Semitic comments was raised only briefly during trial, and no witness ever testified to what the actual references were. In closing argument the prosecutor gave specific examples of anti-Semitic statements, which the defense argued on appeal was an attempt to sway the jury to feel sympathy for the victim, and to resentment towards the defendant. The Court affirmed the conviction finding the comments were not egregious, but more importantly it faulted the trial lawyer for failing to object to the argument during trial.
Practice area(s): Appeals