Prosecutorial Misconduct Based on a Civic Duty Argument

The Court examined the issue of prosecutorial misconduct based on a civic duty argument in People v. Cooper, 236 Mich App 643, 650-652; 601 NW2d 409 (1999). In Cooper, the Court found the prosecution's statement that the case was "another senseless shooting in the City of Detroit and almost another dead young black man, but it didn't happen that way," to be improper as the statement "may have suggested to the jury that sending a message of disapproval of gun related violence in Detroit was a factor favoring conviction." Id. at 650-651. However, the Cooper Court found that a cautionary instruction could have cured the improper comment, and did not require reversal. Id. at 652.