Attorney Kevin G. Roe discusses benefits, dangers of a defendant's testimony in a criminal trial

December 7, 2015

As a high profile Bergen County murder trial nears its end, several prominent attorneys weighed in on the risks and potential benefits of a defendant taking the stand in their own defense, including Kevin G. Roe of Hackensack.

“Generally speaking, defendants don’t make good witnesses in their own trial,” said Kevin G. Roe, a Hackensack attorney who said he has never put a client on the stand in a homicide case. “And it’s only really out of need that a defendant should have to take the witness stand to rebut critical, damaging evidence.”

“They, of course, open themselves up to cross-examination on issues that if they don’t handle well, they could be made to look like liars when maybe they’re not — and do more damage than good in the process,” Roe said.

“Acquittals in murder cases are not common,” Roe noted. “People most often get convicted out of their own mouths.”

Read the entire article here.

Credit: Peter J. Sampson, The Record, December 6, 2015.