Motion for a New Trial Using Unobjected-To Statements Regarding Pending Indictments During Closing Arguments
In Akin v. State, 86 Fla. 564, 572-73, 98 So. 609, 612 (1923), the defendant appealed to this Court after being convicted of forgery, arguing that numerous errors had occurred during his trial. See 86 Fla. at 566-72, 98 So. at 610-12.
After agreeing with the defendant that numerous errors occurred concerning the admission and exclusion of certain evidence, see id., the Akin Court addressed the propriety of various statements made by the prosecutor during closing argument, an issue that the defendant had raised in a motion for new trial. See id. at 572-73, 98 So. at 612.
The first statement made by the prosecutor during closing argument in Akin, to which the Baggett Court analogized the unobjected-to statement made by plaintiff's counsel in that case, consisted of the following:
(1)"This defendant has other indictments pending against him in connection with these transactions.
I do not intend to try the other cases, and it is up to you as to whether you will let this man go scot free and say that he has not committed any wrong.
If he is convicted he would probably only have to pay a small fine, and it is in the power of the court to fine him not more than 5 cents, if he wanted to." Akin, 86 Fla. at 571, 98 So. at 612.