State v. Williams (1987)

In State v. Williams, 204 Conn. 523, 529 A.2d 653 (1987), the defendant was charged with assault in the first degree and risk of injury to a minor. Id., 524. All of the evidence was circumstantial, and the credibility of the state's witnesses was greatly in dispute; one of them was a child. Id., 550. Defense counsel did not preserve the error, and our Supreme Court heard the case pursuant to the second exceptional circumstance of State v. Evans, 165 Conn. 61, 70, 327 A.2d 576 (1973). State v. Williams, supra, 536. The Williams court stated: "The record in this case discloses a pattern of misconduct, repeated and strident, by the assistant state's attorney during both the cross-examination of the defendant and of his key defense witness, and during closing argument. This misconduct falls within at least four categories of proscribed behavior: (1) expressions of opinion by the prosecutor as to witness credibility and the ultimate issue of the defendant's guilt; (2) suggestions that the jury draw inferences from facts not in evidence; (3) appeals to the passions and emotions of the jurors; and (4) injection of extraneous matters." Id., 540-41.