State v. KauhaneAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the intermediate court of appeals (ICA) determining that the State's complaint was sufficient and sustaining that the State's "golden rule" objection, holding that the complaint was defective and that the "golden rule" argument did not apply.
Defendant was convicted of obstructing. The ICA vacated the conviction and remanded for a new trial, holding that there was an error in the jury instructions. On certiorari, Defendant asked the Supreme Court to determine whether the ICA erred in determining that the State's complaint was sufficient despite its failure to define the statutory term "obstructs" and whether the ICA erred in analyzing a golden rule objection made by the State during Defendant's closing argument. The Supreme Court remanded the case to the circuit court to dismiss the obstructing charge, holding (1) by omitting an essential element of the offense of obstructing, the complaint was insufficient; and (2) while the ICA correctly concluded that the circuit court erred in sustaining the State's objection to defense counsel's closing argument, it incorrectly analyzed whether that error was harmless.