A couple of Good Moments, and One Less Good


First, only the criminal-defense lawyers will truly appreciate this setup (it actually happened today in trial):

Prosecutor (to a defense punishment witness, before the jury): D would benefit from college classes, wouldn’t he?
Witness: Yes, I suppose he would.
Prosecutor: And did you know that inmates can take college classes in prison?
Witness: Well, I guess they can, but it’s not the same as taking them on the outside.
Prosecutor: Pass the witness.

Second, the complainant’s mama got on the witness stand today in the State’s punishment case. Unprompted by the State (of course) she testified that she had seen our clients’ family suffering. She thanked the jury for finding our clients guilty, she said, but she didn’t want any more suffering. The prosecutor steered her away from that topic toward other things that might enrage the jury.

When my turn came to cross-examine here, I very gently steered her back toward the topic. Then I asked her, “are you asking the jury to put these two young men on probation?”

“Yes.” was her answer.

The government also put the investigating detective, Sergeant Brian Harris, back on the stand for the punishment phase. Unlike last Wednesday, I neglected the Motorcycle Rule and he took the opportunity to argue the State’s case for them. (Brian: it won’t happen again, I promise.) The judge wouldn’t let me correct his misbehavior myself, wanting me instead to object to the nonresponsiveness of his answers. I ask you: where’s the sport in that?


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