United States v. Williams, No. 11-676 (2d Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(2), Williams was sentenced to 70 months in prison. The Second Circuit affirmed, rejecting an argument that statements made by the prosecution during summation and rebuttal summation deprived him of his right to a fair trial. He focused on criticisms by the prosecution of certain arguments made by the defense, on the prosecution’s characterization of witness testimony as “the truth” and “the absolute truth,” and on the prosecution’s statement in rebuttal summation that “[t]his is not a search for reasonable doubt. This is a search for truth and the truth is that the defendant possessed that gun on July 25, 2009.” No objection to these statements was made at trial. The government attorney erred in her statement that “this is not a search for reasonable doubt,” but the error was followed by correct instructions and Williams was not prejudiced.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on August 15, 2012.