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Reversal for prosecutor’s vouching for the credibility of a police witness

Dec 03, 2010 Reversal for prosecutor’s vouching for the credibility of a police witness

On December 2, Maryland’s Court of Special Appeals reversed a conviction based on the prosecutor’s comments on the credibility of his police witness. Sivells v. Maryland, ___ Md. App. ___ (Dec. 2, 2010).

Sivells also addressed the test for probable cause:

This Court recently discussed the concept of probable cause:

To determine whether probable cause exists, we consider the totality of the circumstances, in light of the facts found to be credible by the trial judge, factoring in the variables of the information leading to police action, the environment, the police purpose, and the suspect’s conduct. Probable cause exists where the facts and circumstances within the knowledge of the officer at the time of the arrest, or of which the officer has reasonably trustworthy information, are sufficient to warrant a prudent person in believing that the suspect had committed or was committing a criminal offense.

Stokeling v. State, 189 Md. App. 653, 663 (2009) (quotations omitted), cert. denied, 414 Md. 332 (2010).

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