State v. Purrier

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Evidence
  • Date Filed: 09-24-2014
  • Case #: A150749
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Hadlock, J. for the Court; Duncan, P.J.; & Schuman, S.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

The jury’s task is to weigh evidence, judge the credibility of witnesses and the reliability of their testimony, and to resolve conflicts in the evidence.

Defendant was convicted of two counts of harassment after a jury trial on two counts of harassment. Defendant argued the trial court erred by overruling his objection to statements made by the prosecutor in closing arguments. Defendant asserted the prosecutor’s statements had the effect of misleading the jury about the applicable burden of proof in the case. At trial, the prosecutor asserted that the jurors would “get to decide which story [they] believe.” On appeal the defendant argues that the prosecutor misstated the law during rebuttal. Defendant also argued the prosecutor’s statements misled the jury resulting in an unfair trial. The issue before the court was whether there is little likelihood that the asserted error affected the verdict. The Court concluded it is the jury’s task to weigh evidence, judge the credibility of witnesses and the reliability of their testimony, and to resolve conflicts in the evidence. The Court held that Defendant showed the jurors understood the statement as suggesting that they could convict Defendant without considering the court’s repeated instructions about the state’s burden of proof. Nevertheless, the Court concluded that there is no likelihood that the error affected the jury’s verdict. Affirmed.

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