Pennsylvania prosecutors should think twice about displaying during an opening statement a handgun that will later be entered into evidence during a trial, a state appeals court panel has suggested in a case of first impression.

In Commonwealth v. Parker, a three-judge panel of the Superior Court ruled that although a Philadelphia assistant district attorney should not have been permitted by the trial court to display the gun allegedly belonging to Maurice Parker, the error was harmless, given the weight of the evidence brought against Parker.

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