'Breakdown' S02 Ep. 9: It’s time to go to trial: Will Harris testify?

  • AJC Staff
3:46 p.m Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016 Breakdown
We’re just a few steps from the starting gate. In a matter of days, the 12 jurors will be seated, the lawyers will make their opening statements, and the murder trial of Justin Ross Harris will begin. Will he testify? 

The Justin Ross Harris murder trial will commence in just a few days. Did Harris intentionally kill his 22-month-old son by leaving him in a hot car to die?  

That’s the biggest question, of course. But following right behind it is this one: Will Harris testify in his own behalf?  

In Episode 9 of “Breakdown,” host Bill Rankin talks with veteran trial attorneys about their thoughts on having the defendant take the stand.  

“You don’t see many help themselves,” said Gwinnett District Attorney Danny Porter. “I’ve seen a lot more guys send themselves to prison than keep themselves out of it.”  

Marietta defense attorney Ashleigh Merchant she wouldn’t put Ross Harris on the stand.  

“Early in my practice, I used to think that I should always put defendants on the stand,” Merchant said. “Then I got to the point where I had a couple of cases with a good prosecutor. They’re going to be able to twist and turn what the defendant says. And in this case, Chuck Boring, one of the prosecutors, he is an excellent cross-examiner. That would worry me.”

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