Blame-shifting by a co-defendant does not require severance of the trials.
“Graham does his best to fashion a Sixth Amendment confrontation violation out of Plato’s attorney’s conduct. Plato’s attorney essentially became a testifying witness, the argument goes, and because Plato himself did not testify, Graham was deprived of his Sixth Amendment right to confront Plato on the stand. Not so. The jury was given the usual instruction that statements made by the attorneys are not evidence and was also told that if any statement by an attorney misstated the evidence, it should be disregarded. The Sixth Amendment secures a defendant’s right to confront witnesses, not to confront attorneys who are simply presenting their client’s case.”
09-2099 & 09-2716 U.S. v. Plato
Appeals from the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois, Scott, J., Sykes, J.