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Name: People v. Zambrano
Case #: E034724
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 11/19/2004

Appellant contended on appeal that the trial court erred by allowing the prosecutor to ask him, on cross-examination, whether two police officers who testified in his trial for sale of cocaine were lying about his involvement in the alleged drug transactions. He also contended that the prosecutor’s “were they lying” questions were misconduct because they called for his inadmissible lay opinion on the officers’ veracity, invaded the province of the jury to determine credibility of witnesses, and were irrelevant. He further contended that the misconduct was compounded by calling the officers in rebuttal to testify that they were not lying. The appellate court agreed that the questions were improper and irrelevant, and that the prosecutor committed misconduct by asking them, to berate the defendant and inflame the jury. The error was compounded by the rebuttal testimony. However, the error was harmless because it was not reasonably probable that the jury would have believed appellant’s version of the events.