Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Prosecutor Bill Mason, in his May 2 closing in Fernando Newcomb's aggravated murder trial, urged the jury to consider the fact that Newcomb refused to take the stand in his own defense.
Mason hasn't explained why he mentioned this: It's unlikely that he was unaware that the defendant had a Fifth Amendment right not to testify and that the prosecution isn't allowed to ask the jury to infer anything by the fact. It's somewhat more likely that Mason wasn't confident this jury would recommend the death penalty, so he decided to force a mistrial and take his chances with a new jury.
The judge immediately declared a mistrial and ordered the prosecutor's office to pay a $26,204 fine, her estimation of the cost of a new trial.
Taxpayer's money. Shifted from one publicly-funded entity (the prosecutor's office) to another (the courthouse).
Well, that will teach him a lesson.... read the rest of the story by Subscribing now.