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Name: United States v. Weatherspoon
Case #: 03-10551
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 05/06/2005

A prosecutor who improperly vouched for law enforcement witnesses committed prejudicial misconduct. The majority opinion held that a prosecutor need not imply to the jury that he has private knowledge in support of the credibility of the witness; simply telling the jury that the witness had no reason to lie constituted improper vouching. The court stressed that the ethical bar was higher for prosecutors than for defense attorneys in this regard. Because the evidence of guilt was not overwhelming, the error was not harmless.