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Archive for Wednesday, October 24, 2012

In appeal, attorney for convicted murderer alleges prosecutorial misconduct

October 24, 2012

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— A man convicted of murder in the 2005 shooting death of a retired jeweler near Lecompton appealed to the Kansas Supreme Court on Wednesday, arguing that statements made by a Douglas County prosecutor improperly prejudiced the jury.

Attorney Adam Hall of Lawrence, who was representing Allen Dale Smith who was sentenced to life in prison for the slaying of Clarence David Boose, 77, said the prosecutor in closing arguments during the 2008 trial called Smith a snitch and a liar.

The prosecutor, who was identified as Douglas County Assistant District Attorney Amy McGowan, also told the jury that "the truth" would give the victim a verdict against the defendant. Such comments, Hall said, were highly prejudicial.

Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson conceded to the court that a comment to the jury to search for the truth instead of focusing solely on the evidence "is now frowned upon by the court." But, he said, that has become clear in court decisions made after Smith's trial.

Branson said that referring to Smith as a liar and snitch was not an insult, but simply repeated what Smith's defense attorney had said in court about the defendant.

"The evidence is very strong in this case," Branson said.

Boose's son, Mark Boose, who attended the arguments before the Kansas Supreme Court, later said he felt the conviction and sentencing of Smith were just. "I do feel like justice was served," Mark Boose said.

Clarence David Boose was shot in the head when he surprised burglars at his home.

Smith and his cousin Leonard Wayne Price were on a crime spree, burglarizing homes in northeast Kansas and using the money to buy methamphetamine, according to a statement Smith gave police.

Smith, now 41, was sentenced to life in prison for murder and 11 years and four months for aggravated burglary. Price, now 51, pleaded guilty to felony murder but said he did not shoot Boose. He was sentenced to life in prison. Smith and Price also were convicted and sentenced in a Pottawatomie County shooting and burglary.

Clarence David Boose and his wife had founded David’s Jewelers, which continues to operate, on Kansas Avenue in Topeka.

Comments

kimk 2 years ago

Another case involving misconduct with Amy McGowan? Wow. How many of these cases can one prosecutor screw up?

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Pepe 2 years ago

Sounds like the defense is grasping for straws with this argument. Based upon this article, I don't see anything that would come close to prosecutorial misconduct.

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meatheadwisdom 2 years ago

"Another case involving misconduct with Amy McGowan? Wow. How many of these cases can one prosecutor screw up?"

Whether she messed up or not, that's the attitude they are trying to promote. One judge listens to an appeal involving a potentially poor choice of words and now everyone is going to pour through their past case transcripts to see if they can find something that may be considered a "poor choice of words". Hopefully the evidence in these cases are solid, if there is to much circumstance, then a reliance on swaying a jury's emotions or feelings could be a problem.

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Eddie_Haskell 2 years ago

Chalk another one up for Amy McGowan. Belive me, she screwed up. She does it all the time.

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JimmyJoeBob 2 years ago

I for one applaud Ms. McGowan's efforts. It appears to me she is being attacked for kicking some ass in court and calling a duck a duck. Keep up the great work Ms McGowan and thanks for trying to make Lawrence a safe place to live

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oldbaldguy 2 years ago

defense is obligated to do this. its part of the game.

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Eddie_Haskell 2 years ago

The defense only does this when a mistake or weak link is found in the prosecutorial chain. Mizz McGowan is a weak link. I've witnessed her sexist and unprofessional shows several times.

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kimk 2 years ago

And let's not forget that Ms. McGowan started her track record of this kind of behavior many years ago in Missouri. It's nothing new and the courts are more than happy to let her know that these comments are unacceptable. Branson will soon become unelectable if he doesn't rid his office of someone this dirty.

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