Ballin v. GeorgiaAnnotate this Case
Following her conviction for the murder of her husband, Derrick, Pamela Ballin appealed the denial of her motion for a new trial. Ballin argues that the trial court erred when it admitted evidence that she was the beneficiary of insurance policies on her husband’s life and that the trial court wrongly denied her motion for a mistrial following an improper statement by the prosecution. Although the trial court erroneously applied an evidentiary standard from cases decided under the former Georgia Evidence Code in admitting evidence of the life insurance policies and related testimony, the Georgia Supreme Court held that the overall strength of the evidence against Ballin rendered harmless any error. Further, Ballin’s claim of error with respect to the denial of her motion for a mistrial lacked merit.