Is it worse to be called “the Government” than “the State of Tennessee?

by Paul Alan Levy

this motion a prosecutor asked a trial judge to order a particular defense lawyer to stop referring to her during jury trials as “the Government” on the ground that jurors would likely take this as a derogatory reference “and is meant to make the State’s attorneys seem oppressive and to inflame the jury,” and thus affecting jurors’ ability to be impartial. (She was willing to be called “General Rettig, the Assistant Attorney General, Mrs. Rettig, or the State of Tennessee”). The defense lawyer responded that the First Amendment protected his right to use a truthful term to describe his adversary, but in the alternative proposed some labels that might be required when referring to himself and his client.

I am advised that the motion was denied.

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