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Criminal Procedure Keyed to Ohlin
Richardson v. Marsh
Citation:481 U.S. 200 (1987)
Respondent Clarissa Marsh, Benjamin Williams, and Kareem Martin were charged with assaulting Cynthia Knighton and murdering her 4-year-old son, Koran, and her aunt, Ollie Scott. Respondent and Williams were tried jointly, over her objection. In addition to Knighton’s testimony, the State introduced a confession given by Williams to the police shortly after his arrest. The confession was redacted to omit all reference to respondent – to omit all indication that anyone other than Martin and Williams participated in the crime. During his closing argument, the prosecutor admonished the jury not to use Williams’ confession against respondent. Later in this argument, however, he linked respondent to the portion of Williams’ confession describing his conversation with Martin in the car. After closing arguments, the judge again instructed the jury that Williams’ confession was not to be considered against respondent. The jury convicted respondent of felony murder.
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