Case Detail
CitationAllen v. State, 970 A.2d 203 (Del. 2009)
CrimeViolent, other
Pros. First NameUKN
Pros. Last NameUKN
Trial Year2002
BodySupreme court
OpinionDefendant, accused of being an accomplice in three separate burglary incidents, was convicted in the Superior Court of New Castle County, Delaware of various charges in connection with the incidents. The Supreme Court of Delaware reversed and remanded. On remand, the defendant was convicted in the Superior Court of all charges, except for attempted robbery in the first degree and conspiracy in the second degree in connection with the third incident. The Supreme Court reversed again, holding that comments by prosecutor during closing argument that defendant could not afford his lifestyle were improper. "The prosecutor suggested to the jury that Allen could not afford his three vehicles and new home because he was a stock boy at ShopRite and therefore committed robbery in order to support his lifestyle. This was an unreasonable inference from the evidence in the record, calculated to appeal to the jury's economic prejudices and mislead the jury as to the inferences it may draw. The prosecutor has a duty to avoid arguments that rely on economic prejudices of the jurors because they “introduce elements of irrelevance and irrationality into the trial which cannot be tolerated in a society based upon the equality of all citizens before the law.”
Determination Year2009
Misconduct TypeT
C/S EffectReversal of conviction
Pros. Misc. ReportedUKN
Sanction TypeUKN
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