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Name: U.S. v. Velarde-Gomez
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 09/13/2000
Subsequent History: None
Summary

There was no prosecutorial misconduct here, where, in summation, the prosecutor argued that a report, challenged as to accuracy, was accurate, and this does not constitute vouching. And while it may be misconduct to call the defense case a “sham” or a “scam,” the words used here were “silly” and “ridiculous,” and those comments went to the truth of appellant’s testimony without directly belittling him or his defense, and was therefore not plain error. Finally, the prosecution’s calling appellant’s story a “lie” was not plain error here where it was neutralized by the prosecutor’s reminder that credibility is for the jury to decide, and the jury instruction that attorney argument is not evidence. Because no objections were made in the trial court, review of this conduct could only be reviewed for plain error.