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D.C. Ct. App. grants retrial for trial court’s impermissible curbs on the defendant’s cross examination

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Trial courts generally should allow wide latitude for cross examination by criminal defendants. The D.C. Court of Appeals recently reversed a felony conviction where the trial judge impermissibly barred key cross examination questions by the defense into possible collusion by the police to cover up the real reason that a police officer got shot, to counter the claimed prosecution ground that a single bullet from the defendant’s gun hit both the cop and the defendant. Coles v. U.S., ___ A.2d ___ (D.C., Feb. 2, 2012).