False Testimony

False Testimony

You are the prosecutor for a case in which the defendant is charged with the attempted murder and robbery of Mrs. Gray, a 78-year-old woman. In the middle of the trial, just before Mrs. Gray testifies, she tells you that she has a confession to make. She states that her original statement to the detective was slightly exaggerated. In this new statement, she tells you that the defendant attacked her in the parking lot and attempted to take her handbag but was interrupted by someone walking by. Originally, Mrs. Gray told the detective who interviewed her that the defendant pointed a gun at her head and said, “If you don’t give me your bag, I’ll kill you.” Now Mrs. Gray states that the defendant only grabbed her bag and said he would kill her but did not have a gun. Mrs. Gray explains to you that at the time of the attempted robbery, she was very upset and angry with the defendant; in her agitation, she embellished her story a little. Answer the following questions:

a. As the prosecutor, do you continue the trial and advise Mrs. Gray she must stick with her original statement? Why or why not?

b. Do you continue with the trial with Mrs. Gray’s true story and hope that the jury convicts the defendant of attempted murder based solely on this statement? Why or why not?

c. Do you drop the attempted murder charges and prosecute only the attempted robbery? Why o r w hy no t?


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