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A prosecutor may not make his own credibility an issue. However, when the defense counsel has attacked the prosecutor's credibility or the credibility of the government agents, the prosecutor is entitled to reply with rebutting language suitable to the occasion.
The trial court convicted the defendants for conspiracy to import, possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute substantial quantities of heroin in violation of 21 U.S.C.S. § 846. The court of appeals affirmed. Defendants complained that the prosecutor improperly placed his own credibility in issue before the jury when he made a statement in the rebuttal argument after all of the defense attorneys had made their closing arguments.
Did the prosecutor properly place his own credibility in issue before the jury?
The prosecutor was responding to what he quite reasonably believed to be attacks on the integrity of the government's case, which impugned the good faith of the entirety of the government's agents, witnesses, and prosecutorial staff. Although the prosecution could not make his own credibility an issue, when the defense counsel attacked the prosecution's credibility, the prosecution was entitled to reply with rebutting language.