Prosecutors’ repeated “gratuitous” references, “with a lot of arch emphasis and many facetious asides” to the nickname of a defendant — “Murder” — entitled the defendant to a new trial for attempted murder, a federal appeals court has ruled.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals concluded in United States v. Farmer, 07-2729-cr, that Laval “Murder” Farmer had been denied due process because the prosecutors “invited prejudice by repeatedly emphasizing Farmer’s nickname in a manner designed to suggest that he was known by his associates as a murderer and that he acted in accordance with that propensity in carrying out the acts charged in the indictment.”

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