Quit your crying and begging! The Cincinnati Enquirer says that is the theme of a motion that Butler County, Oh., prosecutors filed this week trying to keep defense lawyers from getting emotional in death-penalty cases. The request was filed after defense attorney Greg Howard shed a few tears and begged jurors to spare a defendant’s life; it might have worked: the man got life in prison instead.
Howard is involved in another trial scheduled for August. “Crying brings out almost a Pavlovian response in some people,” prosecutor Robin Piper said. The motion says that defense lawyers are known to cry – even trained to do it – as part of their strategy. “Our motion is more about requiring an attorney to maintain composure during closing arguments and during the trial,” Piper said. “Prosecutors are held to that standard. Defense lawyers should also be held to a similar standard.” Said Howard: “It’s an emotional thing. You’ve invested a lot of time and effort in these cases, and you’re trying to save your client’s life, and occasionally it happens.”