Criminal

Jury Selection in a Domestic Violence Charge, Assault Bodily Injury, Family Member

DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. I’ll skip the introduction part. I don’t believe that I — I have three boys, and I don’t believe I ever got through 30 days without one of them having some bodily injury at the hands of the other. But like I said, they’re all grown and seem to be okay now. There are questions that we ask at this part of the trial sort of to find out your suitability for your — for your ability to answer questions that will be asked at the trial and about whether you can take the oath as jurors.
Because right now you have not taken an oath as a juror. And when you take an oath as a juror, you have to take an oath to follow certain principles. And some people can’t, as you’ve already told us. And so we — that’s why we have more than six people. Some days we need more than 20. And — because we want — we want everybody to tell us exactly how they feel. And I’ll tell you, we don’t really care what you say, if you’re telling us the truth, okay?
But you’re telling us the truth, I don’t care what you say, okay? I thought I would start with, like, you know, the easy subjects like — I don’t know – the Confederate flag, same sex marriage, the Pope’s ideas about the environment, and then maybe move on to something else. But, anyway — so, like I said, we kind of hear — want to hear what you have to say. And a fact that we have discovered through studies is that people who talk less during jury selection have a tendency to be jurors.
So, therefore, the more you tell us, the less likely we are to be — doesn’t always work that way, but only — but a lot of times it does. And one of the things that we try to find out — I mean, we use this word, and it’s the word we have to use, and it’s the word for strong feelings for or against one side or the other in the lawsuit now, okay? And I think you told us you have some strong feelings?
VENIREPERSON: Correct.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. And you’re
Mr. McConnell?
VENIREPERSON: McDonnell.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: McDonnell. Sorry. And, Mr. Ruiz, did you tell us something about that? You were — you were telling us you’ve been in this court recently.
VENIREPERSON: That’s correct.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. Sorry. I had written that down for — for you, even though it’s not true. It’s not — it’s just dyslexic. Okay. And Mr. (sic) Ricard, I think you had some questions about whether you could be a fair and impartial juror. You put a question mark.
VENIREPERSON: I put a question mark?
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. On your questionnaire, you put a question mark. So I guess that meant you had a question about whether you could be fair and impartial.
VENIREPERSON: I don’t actually remember doing that.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: You don’t?
VENIREPERSON: I did. I did.
THE COURT: Yeah. No. —
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. Ms. Sandoval?
VENIREPERSON: No. Peterson.
THE COURT: Peterson, No. 17.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: I got that you put no.
VENIREPERSON: Yeah, I did put no.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: You put a no. Okay.
VENIREPERSON: Yes. Should be a question mark.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: You put a no. You put a question mark. Okay. Just mistaken identity here.
VENIREPERSON: Yeah.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. So you’re not sure you can?
VENIREPERSON: Well, it was — I didn’t know it was — what kind of case it was.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: This is — it’s —
VENIREPERSON: If it was very law enforcement, I am very in favor for law enforcement.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. So you — so you have a bias in favor of law enforcement; fair to say?
VENIREPERSON: Yes. The police.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: The police, things like that. We ask questions about that. Okay. And you’re — you’re Ms. Peterson?
VENIREPERSON: Yes.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. And I think you, Ms. Sandoval, said you can’t be fair in this kind of case?
VENIREPERSON: Uh-huh.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. That’s fine. And, Ms. Roney, I think you also said that,

too?
VENIREPERSON: Yes.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. And so I have
Mr. McDonnell. So did I miss anybody on — on that aspect, or is there anybody I need to — who wants to — by the way, you can — you can sort of change your minds anytime until we adjourn. Yes, sir.
VENIREPERSON: I —
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Are you Mr. Clippard?
VENIREPERSON: Yes, sir, I am. I really don’t understand domestic violence. I think people put themselves in that position sometimes.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: All right.
VENIREPERSON: And, you know, if you’re told no, it’s no. I — personally, of course, I’ve been married 40 — over 40 years. And I’ve raised five kids and got 15 grandchildren, but I do not understand domestic violence.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: You mean, like you don’t think, like, when you — like, when your two — like your two adult children got a little disagreement and push each other around, that we need to –
VENIREPERSON: Oh, one of my sons is a police officer, but I just think that if I’m put in a position and somebody tells me: Well, you know, this relationship is over; this isn’t working —
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Right.
VENIREPERSON: — I’m gone. That’s just the way I feel about it. I do not understand domestic violence at all.
VENIREPERSON: Can I say something?
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Hang on. We may — you may, but we may have limited time, so let me —
VENIREPERSON: So I really don’t understand domestic violence. I know that people get upset with each other. Being married over 40 years, my wife and I have argued, but it never came to domestic violence. I don’t understand it at all.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. So which side of the fence do I put you on here?
VENIREPERSON: As far as?
DEFENSE COUNSEL: As far as — well, do we think we have strong feelings for one side, this is one side, or against one side, or the other side, for or against our side?
VENIREPERSON: I’m going to be very partial to — how do I want to word this? I disagree with domestic violence. How is that?
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. So you don’t believe — this is their question. You don’t believe these cases should be prosecuted? That’s fine, whatever you say. So you have some — some qualm with the concept of it?
VENIREPERSON: Yes, I do.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. Okay. Well, am I getting it right? Because I am trying to put it into your words.
VENIREPERSON: Well, I don’t know how else to put it.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: No. That’s fine. However you put it is fine. We’re going with what you said. Yes, sir.
VENIREPERSON: I think what he’s trying to say is he doesn’t understand domestic violence because it doesn’t always happen like that.
VENIREPERSON: Well, I just don’t know.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: I don’t know what you mean when you say it like that.
VENIREPERSON: Well, I don’t know what kind of domestic violence we’re talking about.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: All right.
VENIREPERSON: I don’t understand, you know.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: That’s fine. We’ll — we’ll move on. But I think I’ve got you — I’ve got you clear. You don’t — you don’t understand it. That’s fine. That’s called nihilism. And, you know, a little nihilism can be good in the courtroom, you know. Most people prefer anarchism. But that’s good. All right. So — so — but there are — there are folks who — who say — I don’t know if they say this. There’s all kinds of cases. They say: Well, if the case has gotten this far, then I think it must be a legit case, and there must be some pretty good evidence that the person’s guilty. Otherwise, the Government wouldn’t come along and try to prosecute them. You’re — no? You don’t think that?
VENIREPERSON: I think accidents happen every day.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. And you think that?
VENIREPERSON: I think there’s a reason the State picked the case up.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. So — so for you, does that add some legitimacy to the State’s case?
VENIREPERSON: I’d have to see what they say, see their facts, see their evidence.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. Okay. Mr. Hubbard?
VENIREPERSON: Yes.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. Where are you on that one?
VENIREPERSON: Well, I can’t be for one side or the other side like her. I have to see the evidence.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: You can. You can. Several people are. And that’s fine. I can just say, you can be for one side or the other now, and you can still walk away with 6 bucks.
VENIREPERSON: What I’m saying is, I don’t understand it. I’ve been married for 35 years.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Gee, I feel like a real lightweight here. Last week was my 27th anniversary.
VENIREPERSON: I’ve never hit my sister when we were kids. I don’t hit my wife. I have never hit my kids. So I just don’t understand — I just don’t understand it.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. All right. Okay.
VENIREPERSON: I’m sure it happens, but I’ve just never seen it —
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay.
VENIREPERSON: — with my own eyes.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: All right.
VENIREPERSON: Can I say something?
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Maybe, but later. Ms. Lemoine?
VENIREPERSON: Yes.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Tell me where you are on the — this question: Like some people say, well – and we can get divergent opinions about this. Some people say: Well, if a policeman tells me something, I’m probably going to think it’s the truth because they’re a policeman. And I picked you out for this question.
VENIREPERSON: Yes, because my father is a motorcycle officer —
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Yes.
VENIREPERSON: — of 30 years for Mansfield.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: I understand. I picked you out for this question, okay? It’s not by accident.
VENIREPERSON: I know.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: So are you somebody who would have a tendency to attach more weight to the — to the — you think police are more likely to tell the truth than someone else?
VENIREPERSON: Yes.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. All right. And so in a case that involved police officer testimony, you might — you might have a tendency to — because — because the person is a police officer, you might have a tendency to think they’re telling the truth as opposed to somebody else?
VENIREPERSON: That is correct.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay.
VENIREPERSON: I disagree with that.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Well, that’s okay. We’re — we’re good with disagreements. We’re here to find out everybody’s opinion. We are not trying to get uniform opinion, okay? We are not trying to get everybody on the same page. There is a page — same page we’re trying to get some people on, but we’ll see if we have some volunteers for that, okay? Okay. So a definite — definite bias in favor of law enforcement?
VENIREPERSON: Yes, sir.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. All right. Anybody else, anybody else like you? Don’t have – necessarily have to have a police officer father to — to have that opinion. Anybody else? Law enforcement, I’m inclined, you know — Doris Rhoten, have we asked you anything?
VENIREPERSON: (Shakes head.)
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Haven’t asked you anything. Since we haven’t asked you anything, if we could finish voir dire now, you would probably be the foreman since no one talked to you at all. You’ve said little. Let me start talking.
VENIREPERSON: If I’m selected, I’d like to hear both sides.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Yeah.
VENIREPERSON: Make my decision from there.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. Okay. So no particular bias in favor for or against police officers?
VENIREPERSON: No.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. And Ms. Wilson?
VENIREPERSON: I have a tendency, just from experience, not to necessarily trust what they say.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. Now, can you —
VENIREPERSON: Elaborate on that?
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Yeah. No, you don’t have to elaborate. Just say, will you put that aside and take it — and come into the trial without regard for it?
VENIREPERSON: Considering that I am a tunnel vision person, no.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay.
VENIREPERSON: I will always be skeptical.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. All right. Okay. And
David Vogel, have we asked you anything?
VENIREPERSON: No.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Want to keep it that way?
VENIREPERSON: That’s fine with me. I will be impartial, and I would watch the evidence unfold and make my decision.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. I was going to ask you about Airbus. I’m — and this is just because I’m not sophisticated about it. I know there’s Airbus — there’s a company called Airbus that makes airplanes.
VENIREPERSON: Yeah. They bought the helicopter company I worked for.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. So it’s the same company.
VENIREPERSON: They’re now Airbus, Incorporated.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. And are they French or —
VENIREPERSON: French. Well, actually, German.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay.
VENIREPERSON: French bought the German side, and now Airbus is — and they own the company.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: And —
VENIREPERSON: They were the biggest seller, by the way.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Well, I kwow they’ll make the biggest plane.
VENIREPERSON: No. Biggest helicopter.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Well, I thought they had the biggest airplane.
VENIREPERSON: I mean, they — I don’t mean the biggest helicopter. We sell the biggest amount.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Oh, okay. Okay. Then – but not related to a company called Bell?
VENIREPERSON: No. That’s Brand X.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: All right. Well, I mean, there’s probably a few Bell alumni here somewhere. They’ve been in business a long time.
VENIREPERSON: They’ve served the country well, too.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. So anybody who they feel has been — who knows somebody who’s been, you know, in an abusive relationship?
VENIREPERSON: I’ve been in an abusive relationship. It wasn’t fun.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. All right. So another reason you think you might not be a good juror for this case?
VENIREPERSON: Yeah.


DEFENSE COUNSEL: I understand. Okay. We won’t press you too much about it. We’ll just take it at that. Okay. And — all right. Has anybody ever been on a grand jury here?
(No response.)
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. And let’s talk about this here. Now, one of the questions you were asked a little bit earlier was — this is the question. I had this one, but, you know, I don’t know if we need to hear this one, unless you happen to be in — I think you said you were in this boat, so that’s fine.
VENIREPERSON: Justice needs to be served.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. I understand. And anybody else? Anybody else in this boat? Yes. That’s you, too, Ms. Lemoine, right?
VENIREPERSON: Uh-huh.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Yes.
VENIREPERSON: You were talking about as far as being bias?
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Yeah.
VENIREPERSON: Yeah, I don’t understand domestic violence. But me personally, I — the one that did the domestic violence, I would have a problem with.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. So somebody accused?
VENIREPERSON: Yes.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. So you would have a bias against the person accused?
VENIREPERSON: Yes.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. All right. And this is kind of the same question. Because some experience I’ve had, I can’t presume the person innocent, okay, or can’t take the — another that may — that requires me to take — presume the person innocent, okay? This is kind of similar. Some people say: Well, you know, probably guilty, but, you know, I’ll give you a chance to prove the opposite. Probably guilty, but I’ll give — and I’m sorry. Ms. Peterson, you’re shaking your head yes?
VENIREPERSON: Yes.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Yes. And, Ms. Sandoval, you’re a yes on this one?
VENIREPERSON: What was the question?
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Probably guilty, but I’ll give you a chance to prove he’s not?
VENIREPERSON: No.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. And Mr. Boroff?
VENIREPERSON: Yes.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. I’m going to pick you for this one. Here’s my other question: You are asked — let me ask you this, and you can take in all of your experience. Do we — do we ever — do we know anybody who’s maybe said something that wasn’t true because somebody else in the family thought it was a good idea for them to say that? Yes. Do we all know that? Sure. Sure.
VENIREPERSON: On TV.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: On TV, yes. On TV, yes. Okay. Now, the question you were asked earlier is: Should we prosecute a case — should we prosecute a case if — if the person aggrieved says: I don’t want you to? And we’ve had some responses to that. So here’s my question: Should the State be allowed to proceed when the person aggrieved has told them: It’s not true; it’s not true? What do you think? Mr. Olivo, you acknowledge that everybody has the capability to somehow alter —
VENIREPERSON: Yes.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Yes.
Ms. Ricard? Let me — let me give you an example. Let’s say at some point, you know, you — you accuse somebody of something. You tell the — the DA, you say: Well, I want to let you know it’s not true. I only said it because my mother, sister, whatever, told me to. And, you know, I was hysterical at the time, so that’s why I said that. And at some point — Mr. Nourse?
VENIREPERSON: Yes, sir.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Mr. Nourse, the DA says: Okay. So you’re saying it’s not true?
VENIREPERSON: Yeah.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: You’re saying it’s not true. Well, you know, I’ve got a federal grant to prosecute these kind of cases. I’ve got staff. I’ve got an upcoming performance meeting. I think we’re going togo ahead, okay? So — so, I mean, I think many of you said you would be sensitive to when a — when a — when a person says: I don’t want this case to be prosecuted. But you can certainly be sensitive to when a person says it’s not true.
VENIREPERSON: Well, if the person didn’t want to prosecute, then I don’t feel they should go further.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: I understand.

VENIREPERSON: However, if the person says it was not true, and they have hard evidence that this person was really injured, then that’s something totally different.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Right. Right.
VENIREPERSON: So, I mean, it depends on the facts.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: So — so — so same question. Well, we have certain circumstances where — so I’m injured because my injury — but I don’t want to prosecute it. I’m injured, but this person didn’t cause my injury. And I’m telling you — I’m telling you they didn’t cause my injury. The DA says: I’ve got a case number and a file jacket, and like I said, federal grant, staff. I’ve got to — I’ve got to go ahead. So, question, willing to listen to all the testimony that comes forth in the case?
VENIREPERSON: Yeah.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. And not only testimony, which I don’t necessarily think we would anticipate – not only testimony says: Hey, it’s not — I don’t want to prosecute, but, hey, it didn’t happen. Didn’t happen that way. Will you listen to that kind of testimony?
VENIREPERSON: Yes.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. Ms. Saunders?
VENIREPERSON: Yes.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Sure. Ms. Roney?
VENIREPERSON: Uh-huh.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. Ms. Wilson?
VENIREPERSON: I — repeat the question, because I got —
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay.
VENIREPERSON: Because I was kind of bouncing off of what you were saying there were people that say it’s not true. In my line of work — and I’m talking about in the travel industry, when people need to get what they want. They lie out of convenience.
So some of your most upstanding folk be just lying to get whatever. So I have to be able to kind of look past what you’re saying, you know, that kind of thing, because there’s always some truth to it. Yeah. Yeah. There’s always some truth to it. It’s just a matter of you guys being — to get to that point. So, yeah, I’m probably one of the hardest ones to convince either way.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay.
VENIREPERSON: Because I’ve been on the path of what you’re saying with your lips.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. And Ms. Holdridge?
VENIREPERSON: Yes.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: I have that you’re a safety director?
VENIREPERSON: Yes.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: And tell me about being a safety director.
VENIREPERSON: I deal with truck drivers all day long.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Oh, okay. So you tell them about signaling turns and thing like that, how to set up flares?
VENIREPERSON: Uh-huh. Yeah. Well, I do a lot more than just that, but yeah.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. So thoughts, you don’t — you don’t think the State should be able to proceed when they have knowledge that the case is no longer legit, do you? Or do you think they should be able to proceed? Well, we’ve got a government, got to keep it going. Who here thinks that’s true?
VENIREPERSON: I said earlier, they get involved for a reason, so there’s a reason why we’re here.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. So that’s right. And I think you said earlier the reason we’re here, you think there’s some legitimacy to the case.
VENIREPERSON: Yes.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. Okay. And Mr. Ruiz?
VENIREPERSON: Uh-huh.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: If you wind up on the jury, the allegation, the way it’s printed and all that, not evidence of guilt, you can follow that?
VENIREPERSON: I can.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. All right. And,
Mr. Porter, you’re fine with the concept of —
VENIREPERSON: Over here.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: — loss of short-term memory, that loss of short-term memory, right? How about this one? How about I would presume David Minze innocent and the process that brought him here is no evidence of his guilt; if I have a reasonable doubt about it, whether any element of the offense is proved, if I am even undecided about whether one element is proved, I must vote not guilty? What do you think about that concept?
VENIREPERSON: That’s quite hard.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Well, let me put it in my words, okay? Those are my words.
Here’s what the law says: The law says they actually — the — the law doesn’t say anywhere — it’s not a hundred percent, okay? That’s not the law. But he gets to say that in voir dire, okay? And the law says that they have to convince you by a standard we call beyond any reasonable doubt, okay?
That’s the only thing we do that’s beyond a reasonable doubt. And the law says, if you’re undecided about whether the person’s guilty or not guilty, you must vote not guilty. And some people say: Well, I don’t like that. If I’m undecided about whether he’s guilty or not guilty, I’m going to vote for lower punishment or something.
So that’s why we’re asking this question now. Because if it’s a difficult — if you cannot take the oath, then we say: All right. You won’t have to. Want to think about it?
VENIREPERSON: Yeah. I’m — to me, a lot of — to me, everything depends on what comes out. I –it’s hard making —
DEFENSE COUNSEL: You’re right. Everything does depend on what comes out, but this principle doesn’t change.
VENIREPERSON: Yeah.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: This principle doesn’t change. The principle that we’re presumed innocent and that the process that brought us here is no evidence of guilt, that doesn’t change. And that’s why for all the people who say, well, you brought your — you came here through a process, and we think it’s some evidence of guilt, we say that’s fine. We’re going to respect your views.
VENIREPERSON: I — yes, I guess so.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. Is it Mr. Foreman — Freeman?
VENIREPERSON: Yes, sir.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Freeman. What do you think about this concept?
VENIREPERSON: I agree with it.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Don’t —
VENIREPERSON: No. I’m just saying, you said be honest, and I’m being honest.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: I appreciate that. I appreciate that. Okay. And Mr. Vogel?
VENIREPERSON: Yes, the same.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. The Judge, by the way, hasn’t heard the facts, and the Judge, in essence, doesn’t really care about the facts. The Judge rules on the facts based on rules of evidence, okay? Let me give you an example. Mr. Boroff?
VENIREPERSON: Yes.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. If I can prove that I have a degree and I’m recognized in my area, then I can give an opinion as an expert because the law says, if you can qualify as an expert, you can give an opinion. An opinion is kind of not necessarily about a physical fact, okay? So if you can — has anybody ever heard the expression “an expert is somebody with a briefcase and more than 50 miles from home”? Okay. Well, anyway, so if I — if I could prove that I had a degree, and I’ve been published, and I’ve also been qualified, you know, I — on the topic, I could get up and say: I am an expert, and I’m telling you the moon is made of green cheese, okay? Now, the Judge will look at the – the evidentiary requirements for an expert and say: Okay. If you meet the evidentiary requirements, you can testify, okay? Now — but the Judge isn’t commenting on the weight of the evidence. Not — the Judge doesn’t — is never ever saying, hey, this is important; this is unimportant. This is true; this is not true. The Judge never says that, okay? The Judge has never said that. The Judge is saying meets the requirement for evidentiary admissibility. Which, by the way, not necessarily has anything to do with the truth or reliability, it has to do with some — some very specific rules.
VENIREPERSON: Right.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: So — all right. Let’s go. Let’s try this again. I think we’ve gotten the questions out on this one. Let’s see. Question. People say this all the time. People say: I want to hear both sides. I won’t make up my mind. As the Judge will tell you, don’t make up your minds until you’ve heard all the testimony in the case. And a lot of people say, well, all right. I’ve heard what they have to say. What do you have to say? And they look over at the defendant. We have a law — we have a law. It’s a very important principle of law, and here’s what it says. It says that the person on trial is not required to produce evidence or — or not required to testify or produce any evidence at all. And our law says that if the person on trial chooses not to testify, that cannot be taken as a circumstance against the person. Now, some people, say: Don’t agree. Some people say: Okay. That’s the law. So tell me how you feel about that, Mr. Luther.
VENIREPERSON: No, I would not hold it against a person for not wanting to prove his case. That’s not the way the law is written.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. Mr. Hubbard?
VENIREPERSON: Yes. DEFENSE COUNSEL: What do you think about that law?
VENIREPERSON: If he doesn’t want to say anything, he doesn’t have to, but that might help him if he does.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay.
VENIREPERSON: He does not legally have to do it. That’s his choice.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Right. Well, my question is: What do you think about the instruction that says you cannot consider it as a circumstance against him under any circumstances; cannot mention it, refer to it, allude to it or take it into consideration whatsoever? And many people say: I can’t do that.
VENIREPERSON: I wouldn’t hold it against him. You know, like I said, it’s his choice. If he doesn’t want to, he doesn’t have to.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. Okay. Ms. Holdridge?
VENIREPERSON: Yes, sir, same.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: All right. And anybody back here think, you know, well, if he doesn’t testify, that’s suspicious? I’ve heard people say that. Mr. Olivo, you’re a little closer to —
VENIREPERSON: I don’t know. I don’t think — I cannot put it out of my mind.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. So to you, it would be significant? To you, you might consider it?
VENIREPERSON: Yes.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. So you might consider it against the person?
VENIREPERSON: Yes.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. Okay. And Ms. Ricard?
VENIREPERSON: I understand it’s the law, but I feel like that gentleman over there. I feel, if he could, he should say something.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. So you —
VENIREPERSON: I mean, I’m not against it. You know, I understand it’s the law.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. All right. Mr. Nourse?
VENIREPERSON: I’d have — probably have a tough time with someone not —
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Sure.
VENIREPERSON: — saying anything, because I know, if I was up there, I would want to say something.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay.
VENIREPERSON: I think by not saying something, I think you could be saying something.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: And I understand. And like I said, we’re — we’re here to get everybody’s opinion, and we’re trying not to bark at anybody for whatever opinion they give us.
VENIREPERSON: Sure.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. So you think you probably would hold it against him?
VENIREPERSON: (Nods head.)
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Sure. Okay. And Mr. Boroff?
VENIREPERSON: Yes.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Let me ask you about that question.
VENIREPERSON: If he’s innocent, then I would think he would want to testify.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. So if the Judge gave you the instruction and said, if he chooses not to testify, you can’t consider it, mention it, refer to it, or hold it against him, or think of it as a circumstance against him in any way, shape, or form?
VENIREPERSON: I would — yeah, I would agree with — I would do what the Judge asked.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. So you would follow the Judge’s instruction? You would not —
VENIREPERSON: (Nods head.)
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. And Ms. Roney?
VENIREPERSON: Yes. Repeat the question.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Well, the —
VENIREPERSON: I don’t — I don’t – if you’re asking me if there’s a problem with him not testifying, there’s not a problem.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay.
VENIREPERSON: You’re his lawyer. I’m sure you’re going to represent him.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. I don’t know. Maybe the — the question may have already been called into doubt. And, Ms. Saunders, the law —
VENIREPERSON: I wouldn’t hold it against him, no.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay.
THE COURT: All right. Defense Counsel, you need to start wrapping it up.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. So — so question. Does anybody here have something that they might need to do later today or tomorrow? I don’t anticipate us being here Wednesday, but possibly on Wednesday, something that we need to know about? Ms. Lemoine, you have some appointment?
VENIREPERSON: Well, actually, I go pick up my sister in the afternoon, to get her from school.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. All right. Yes, sir. And Mr. Olivo?
VENIREPERSON: I have an appointment on Wednesday.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. And Mr. Nourse?
VENIREPERSON: I travel for my job every Wednesday.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. Okay.
VENIREPERSON: I have an appointment for Tuesday, and I’ve got to take my wife to the doctor Wednesday.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. All right. Yes, sir Mr. Porter?
VENIREPERSON: Yes. I have an appointment on Tuesday. It’s my first appointment to see a new dentist so I — maybe I can — I can reschedule.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: No. It’s funny, because, normally, when we have physicians, they say they have patients coming in. You’ll be a patient.
VENIREPERSON: I need to go to work tomorrow.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. Well, the question is: If you were chosen for the jury, would you be able — would wanting to go to work be distractive such that you might not be able to listen to the testimony?
VENIREPERSON: No. I’ll still be able to listen to the testimony.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay.
VENIREPERSON: I’m retired. I don’t have anything to do.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Yes, ma’am.
VENIREPERSON: We’re in the crutch of a murder trial —
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Well, that’s fine.
VENIREPERSON: But, yeah, me being here is — I would rush to judgment.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: You would rush to judgment?
VENIREPERSON: Yeah.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: So you might be distracted?
VENIREPERSON: Most definitely.
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Okay. All right. Anybody have anything they want to tell us before we — okay. Gentlemen, if you would go out in the hall while they make their strikes. When I bring you back in, I’ll tell you who the six that get to come back after lunch.
(Jury panel leaves the courtroom.)

Francisco Hernandez

Author Francisco Hernandez

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