Wednesday, April 4, 2012

KY SC March 22 - Driver- Prior Convictions. Prosecutorial Misconduct

Steven Driver v. Commonwealth, 2012 WL 975711 (Ky. 2012) decided March 22, 2012 (2009-SC-000639-DG).  Reversing and Remanding
Mr. Driver was convicted of First Degree Assault following a fight with his second wife. There are three important points to take from this case.

First, the Kentucky Supreme Court reversed his conviction holding that reversible error occurred when the prosecutor introduced his prior convictions involving his first wife.

Second, the Court ruled that the prior convictions against his first wife could become relevant if he raised an Extreme Emotional Disturbance defense that the fight began because he learned his second wife was having an affair.

Third, the Court ruled that the prosecutor should not have argued in closing that the jury should convict him to protect his children.

Note - the issues was preserved through the excellent work of Murray Directing Attorney Robin Irwin.

Contributed by Susan Balliet