Davis v. State of Ohio, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Case No. CV96-312322
May 8, 2000
state's filing, judgment notwithstanding the verdict, sufficiency of evidence, juror misconduct, prosecutorial misconduct, jury demand, motion for new trial
The State argues the following:
- Witness testimony and evidence from the first trial was substantial evidence of Sam Sheppard's guilt such that reasonable minds might differ on the verdict; thus, a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict must be denied.
- When the jury's verdict is supported by "competent, substantial and credible evidence," any motion for a new trial should be denied.
- The jury is under no obligation to give weight to any particular expert witness and could feel free to believe or not believe any witnesses permitted to testify.
- A short deliberation period on the part of the jury was not evidence that the jury did not adequately perform its duties.
- Alleged juror misconduct, evinced by Juror 2's request to be excused and one juror's report that another juror had predetermined her opinion on the case, had not prejudiced the Plaintiff or substantially affected his rights, because the court performed an investigation into both and found no evidence of prejudice.
- There was no evidence of prosecutorial misconduct on the part of Prosecutor William D. Mason for comments made at a press conference concerning a potential settlement, because Mason was obligated to respond to inaccuracies promulgated by Plaintiff's council Terry Gilbert.
- Reference to Sam Sheppard's extramarital affairs was not evidence of prosecutorial misconduct, because it did not improperly inflame the jury to the extent "that the jury's verdict [was] the product of passion and prejudice."
- The trial court correctly held that the State of Ohio was entitled to a jury trial.
The court denied the motion for JNOV on 7/3/2000; see docket
Mason, William D. and Cassidy, Marilyn B., "State’s Brief in Opposition to Plaintiff’s Motion for Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict & Motion for a New Trial" (2000). 1995-2002 Court Filings. 38.