State v. Morrow

834 N.W.2d 715 (2013)

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State v. Morrow

Minnesota Supreme Court
834 N.W.2d 715 (2013)

  • Written by Sharon Feldman, JD

Facts

Aaron Morrow (defendant) was indicted for shooting and killing Joseph Rivera and attempting to murder Rivera’s friends D.C. and G.C. Morrow was convicted after trial of murder and attempted murder. Morrow claimed he acted in self-defense. The court permitted the state (plaintiff) to use a childhood photograph of Rivera and D.C. but warned the prosecutor not to use the photograph to create sympathy for Rivera. The state mentioned the photograph briefly at the beginning of the trial when it was providing background about Rivera’s life and relationship with others involved in the shooting and showed the photograph to D.C. during his testimony about his childhood friendship with Rivera. The jury was shown pictures of Rivera’s body after he was shot and heard testimony about Rivera’s stature. Morrow was convicted. On appeal, Morrow argued that the trial court erred in admitting the photograph because the photograph was used to create sympathy for Rivera and inflame the jury’s passions and undermined Morrow’s claim of self-defense.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Anderson, J.)

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