People v. Collins

In People v. Collins, 250 P.3d 668, 678 (Colo. App. 2010) the Court stated in rebuttal that the defendant's "absurd" theory "as to why the jury should find a reasonable doubt was so unlikely as to strain credibility." Using an abuse of discretion standard, the appellate court concluded that the comments "permissibly focused the jury's attention on the evidence and the inferences that could reasonably be drawn from the evidence." Id. The court determined the record did not suggest the comments "induced the jury to make a decision on a basis other than the merits of the evidence and the court's instructions of law." Id. at 679. The court also noted that "a prosecutor may 'employ rhetorical devices and engage in oratorical embellishment and metaphorical nuance, so long as the argument does not thereby induce the jury to determine guilt on the basis of passion or prejudice.'" Collins, 250 P.3d at 678. Furthermore, "a prosecutor has considerable latitude in replying to opposing counsel's argument, and contentions of improper argument in a closing argument must be evaluated in the context of the argument as a whole and in light of the evidence." Id.