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GEORGE GUY DERDEN, III v. STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

MARCH 16, 1988

GEORGE GUY DERDEN, III
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI



BEFORE HAWKINS, P.J., SULLIVAN & ZUCCARO, JJ.

SULLIVAN, JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

George Guy Derden, III, was convicted of burglary by the Circuit Court of Clay County, Mississippi and sentenced to seven (7) years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Only one of the assignments of error presented to this Court by Derden merits discussion.

I.

 WAS DERDEN DENIED A FAIR TRIAL IN VIOLATION OF DUE PROCESS BECAUSE THE PROSECUTION OBTAINED PROMISES BY THE JURORS TO BELIEVE THE STATE'S CO-CONSPIRATOR WITNESSES?

 At the trial, Will Sherrod, Jay Posey and Thomas Turner testified that they with George Derden and Derden's girlfriend, Pam Smith, burglarized Wade's Grocery in Pheba, Mississippi, some time around 12:00 o'clock on January 10, 1983. Derden testified in his own behalf and offered an alibi defense. The jury did not believe the defense.

 The following discussion took place during voir dire:

 MR. ALLGOOD:

 Very well. The court has - has told you somewhat of the nature of this case. Now it is - it is a burglary of a business. Now the

 State expects the proof to show that there were a number of people that went out to burglarize that building on this particular evening, as a matter of fact, five is what the State expects the proof to show. Now three of those people are going to testify for the State, and I think it's going to become apparent that - that there had been what has usually called quote" deals "unquote made with these three other people in order to - to - for them to testify. Now my questions to you in this regard is simply this: First of all, do any of you feel that such testimony, such arrangements, if you will, are inherently untruthful, would inherently cause the witness not to tell the truth?

 MR. WAIDE:

 Your Honor, if the Court please, I object to that; that's a question for the jury to determine as to whether it would. I don't think he's - this is the proper time to be arguing about that.

 MR. ALLGOOD:

 It's not arguing,, your honor, I'm asking a question.

 THE COURT:

 All right, just ask questions.

 MR. ALLGOOD:

 Thank you, your honor.

 THE COURT:

 Don't argue your ...


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