Can counsel influence the outcome of a murder trial?

California, United States of America

The following excerpt is from People v. Warren, B253552 (Cal. App. 2015):

Given the strong evidence of defendant's guilt of first degree murder, it is unclear what, if anything, counsel could have done (or not done) to change the outcome of the trial. Even if we assume that counsel's speech or manner was annoying to some of the jurors, the jury is presumed to follow the court's instructions. (People v. Sanchez (2001) 26 Cal.4th 834, 852.) The record is devoid of any evidence to suggest that the jury disregarded the instruction not to consider the attorneys' statements as evidence.

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