Tag: trial

  • Punishing the Prosecutor to Fit the Crime

    A Harris County felony prosecutor, in closing argument, says (PDF on Scribd): You-all heard some evidence, which I would have loved to brought you more people, but I couldn’t. This case is, does Harris County find what he did okay? And I still don’t know what he did, because he won’t even say it. We […]

  • Ego

    A Harris County prosecutor today (perennially gruff but a marshmallow on the inside) took umbrage at my public statements that until very recently I hadn’t seen a Harris County prosecutor conduct a voir dire that was worth a damn. I invited him to tell me when he was picking a jury, and I’d come watch […]

  • Trial Psychosis

    I can win this trial. I can! I can!

  • In Trial*

    I’m in trial* on a white-collar criminal case. It is not an easy case, but sometimes we have to try the tough cases. I’ve got to wonder why the prosecutor left on the jury two jurors who admitted that they couldn’t consider the top end of the statutory punishment range (i.e. life in prison). Maybe […]

  • Survival Situations: What’s at Risk?

    I wrote last month about Laurence Gonzales’s Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why and promised “much more later.” It occurs to me that the start of scavenging Gonzales’s work for criminal trial lawyers has to be relating survival to a criminal trial. When Gonzales is talking about survival situations, he’s not referring only […]

  • Based on Actual Facts

    Suppose that you were a prosecutor prosecuting a first-time DWI case, and that I was defending it. Suppose further that the accused’s husband, an ex-cop, watched her performing the field sobriety tests at the scene, and would testify that she did fine. That the arresting officer claimed that his in-car video camera wasn’t working. That […]

  • You’re Not Listening!

    Listen: If you are a private lawyer, you can get more people to hire you. If you are a court-appointed lawyer, you can help your clients appreciate you more. You can pick a better jury. You can demolish your adversary’s case. You can perform a better direct examination. You can perform a better cross-examination. You […]

  • The Loss of Meaning

    Scott Greenfield has apparently been having a blawgospheric discussion with Doug Berman about the merits of a Kentucky bill, HB210, that, in Doug’s words, “imagines forfeiture as a possible alternative (rather than an addition) to lengthening prison terms for certain offenders.” After some back-and-forth in comments to Scott’s thorough critique of the idea of asset […]

  • Mexico Discovers Due Process

    Mexico is in the process of overhauling its criminal justice system (WSJ). Jury trials aren’t in the works, yet, but reforms include a move from an inquisitorial system in which judges decide cases in secret based on written submissions, to an adversarial system of open trials with oral argument. Oh, and now people accused of […]

  • Faith-Based Legal Argument

    The same sorts of questions, it seems, pop up over and over again where lawyers gather to discuss the law. Questions like: “Isn’t it a violation of the disciplinary rules for a lawyer to talk to another lawyer’s client about taking his case?” and “Shouldn’t I put my client on the stand, so that I […]