Smith v. State

788 S.E.2d 433 (2016)

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Smith v. State

Georgia Supreme Court
788 S.E.2d 433 (2016)

Facts

Deonte T'varis Smith (defendant) was charged with the killing of a baby. At trial, the prosecution (plaintiff) called Dr. Clark as an expert witness. Over Smith’s objection, Dr. Clark used a doll to demonstrate how the victim sustained some of the injuries, including the force that would have been needed. Clark squeezed the doll’s chest to simulate the victim’s rib fractures and slammed the doll’s head several times to simulate the victim’s head injuries. The doll was approximately the same size as the victim. Clark based his testimony and demonstration on the autopsy results and the victim’s medical records. Clark acknowledged not knowing exactly how many times the victim’s head was slammed. Clark never referenced Smith nor any other perpetrator during the demonstration. Smith was convicted, and he appealed, arguing that the prosecution’s demonstrative evidence was unfairly prejudicial.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Nahmias, J.)

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