CriminalDriving While IntoxicatedImmigration

jury selection driving while intoxicated

By November 20, 2016 No Comments

FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Thank you, Judge.
DEFENSE VOIR DIRE EXAMINATION
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: May it please the Court,
counsel.
How about everybody stand up for a second
and just stretch.
(court at ease)
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Like the Judge said, we’re
going to try to keep this somewhat short and brief.
Appreciate that. And he’s going – – Judge, please cut me
off in 30 minutes if I’m not done.
THE COURT: Sure.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Thank you, Your Honor.
Ms. Crafton, when you think about social
drinking, tell me, what do you think about?
VENIREWOMAN CRAFTON: Going out to dinner,
having a drink with my dinner. Going over to somebody’s
house for a visit and having a drink with them.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Well, since you brought up
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going out to dinner and having a drink with your dinner,
what’s your favorite restaurant?
VENIREWOMAN CRAFTON: My favorite?
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Your favorite restaurant.
VENIREWOMAN CRAFTON: Oh, On The Border
maybe.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: On The Border. That’s a good
one.
VENIREWOMAN CRAFTON: I’m a margarita gal.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: You’re a mind reader.
Okay. So when you go out to eat at On The
Border, you want to have a margarita, do you just get up
and help yourself to the margarita, or how do you get
your margarita?
VENIREWOMAN CRAFTON: I ask the waiter and
the waiter brings it to me.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Why is that?
VENIREWOMAN CRAFTON: Because they won’t
let you go mix your own drink.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Right. Okay. Very good, Ms.
Craf ton.
Well, I just want to clarify, in this
courtroom, who brings the margarita, Mr. Davis?
JUROR DAVIS: The waiter, right here.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: So the – – so the – – in terms
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of in a criminal case, the party that has the burden of
proof, the party that must bring the evidence to
convict, would be which table?
JUROR DAVIS: This table here in front
of me.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Very good, Mr. Davis.
And I just want to clarify that. It’s not
that I don’t want to bring evidence. It’s not that, you
know, we don’t have any evidence to bring, but
technically speaking, just like when you go to On The
Border, a nice restaurant, you don’t just help yourself
to the kitchen. The social custom is you ask the waiter
or waitress, they bring the drink.
In a criminal courtroom, the social custom
is – – if you want to call it that – – the State of Texas,
they bring the evidence. And if they don’t bring enough
evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, then what do you do,
Mr. York?
JUROR YORK: Innocent. Not guilty.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Okay. And, Mr. York, you’ve
served on a jury before; is that correct?
JUROR YORK: Yes.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Okay. As a matter – – did you
guys reach punishment?
JUROR YORK: No. Well, we – – not
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guilty.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Okay. Well, what I was going
to ask was, Judge Coffey — and I really love that about
the Judge, he always talks about everything that’s
important – – Judge Coffey talked about the word
innocent.
Now, Mr. York, being on a criminal jury
before, does – – is there a word ~innocentnonn the
verdict form?
JUROR YORK: Huh-uh.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Very good.
Now, why do you think – – Mr. Smith, why do
you think in a criminal case we don’t have – – we have
guilty and we have not guilty, but we don’t have the
word “innocent”? Why is that, Mr. Smith?
JUROR SMITH: Because you’re not
finding them innocent; you’re finding them guilty or not
guilty.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Very good.
Did you watch the 0. J. trial?
JUROR SMITH: No.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Do you remember when Johnny
Cochran said — or he had 0. J. try the glove on, and
then he said — what did he say? Do you remember that?
JUROR SMITH: “If it doesn’t fit, you
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must acquit . ”
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: BOY, you’re good.
Now, I call it “if you have a doubt, you
throw it out.”
You may think, and many people in this
country believe – – not everybody — but that 0. J. was
as guilty as sin. But when you’ve got the Prosecutor
standing there saying “this is, ladies and gentlemen,
the glove of the killer,I1 and the glove doesn’t fit, you
may think that he’s as guilty as sin, but if you have a
logical, reasonable doubt, as the Judge said, it’s
defined by the jury, then you acquit.
So when we talk about a criminal case, we
know that the standard is guilty or not guilty. It’s
not innocent. We know that this table has to do their
job, which is they’ve got to provide the evidence,
because that’s the social custom in the courtroom.
And when you’re on the jury – – Mr. Skaats, you’ve never
been on a jury; is that correct?
JUROR SKAATS: No.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Okay. NOW, Mr. Skaats, what
do juries have to do?
JUROR SKAATS: (No verbal response)
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: On a criminal case, you’ve
got six people, and it’s really not a — please don’t be
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offended, it’s not a process of selection, it’s a
process of elimination, so whoever is left over ends up
on the jury. And it’s normally quiet folks. But
anyway, Mr. Skaats, can it be four/two not guilty, or do
you – – or do you have to be unanimous in the American
court system?
JUROR SKAATS: I would think
unanimous.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: And you’re exactly correct.
Unanimous.
And let me just touch on this real briefly
and you’ll see the verdict form, the Judge will read it
to you, it says it has to be a unanimous verdict.
NOW, Ms. Strickland, if you really
honestly believe in your heart of hearts, and you use
your logic and your common sense, you had a very good
feeling about how you felt about the law and the
evidence, and everybody else is an eyewitness, everybody
else disagreed with you, but that verdict form says that
you have got to have a unanimous verdict, if you – – if
it would violate your conscience, what do you do?
VENIREWOMAN STRICKLAND: Well, I stick to
my guns.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: A-plus.
Now — and I just wanted you – – and 1’11
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move on. In a criminal courtroom, one, you have a
unanimous verdict. The law does say it’s got to be
unanimous. But if it violates your conscience, that
means that nobody could tell you, Ms. Strickland, what
to do, correct? Because you are – – honestly, you’re
holding to what you – – you’re steadfastly holding to
your convictions, and the law says if it would violate
your conscience, then, of course, that’s a no-no; but if
it doesn’t violate your conscience, then fine, you know,
you should try to come to a unanimous verdict.
Any questions about that, Mr. Stipp?
JUROR STIPP: (No verbal response)
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: And I’ll just move on. 1’11
stop at – – you’re on the jury, you guys should know
that. Okay.
JUROR STIPP: I don’t have any
questions on it, no.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: All right. Now, Ms.
Blanchard, you have children; is that correct?
VENIREWOMAN BLANCHARD: Yes.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: And how many kids do you
have?
VENIREWOMAN BLANCHARD: I have three, and
seven grandchildren.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Wow. Okay. How would you – –
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
2 0
2 1
22
2 3
/-‘ 24
2 5
10
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do you ever help babysit the grandchildren?
VENIREWOMAN BLANCHARD: Sometimes.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: NOW, Ms. Blanchard — how
would you, Ms. Blanchard, define common sense? Do you
think you have some pretty good common sense?
VENIREWOMAN BLANCHARD: I think I have
excellent common sense.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: And you’ve raised a
successful family, correct? Kids and grandchildren.
HOW —
VENIREWOMAN BLANCHARD: They’re all doing
great.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Very good.
Ms. Blanchard, how would you define common
sense? As a responsible citizen, how – – what is your
definition of that?
VENIREWOMAN BLANCHARD: Make a responsible
decision.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Make a responsible decision.
That is excellent.
Is it pronounced Genz?
VENIREWOMAN GENZ: Genz.
I FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Genz. Ms. Genz, now Ms. I
Blanchard said make a responsible decision. How would
you define common sense?
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VENIREWOMAN GENZ: I would agree with her.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: I think that’s really good.
Responsible means that we’re being logical and then
you’re making a decision that just follows logic. Would
that be correct?
VENIREWOMAN BLANCHARD: Uh-huh.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Okay.
VENIREWOMAN GENZ: Taking responsibility
for the decisions you make.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Sure.
Now, when we talk about taking
responsibility, we, as citizens, need to take
responsibility. Would everybody agree with that?
Sure.
When it comes to drinking and driving – –
the Judge talked about social drinking — we want to be
responsible social drinkers. Would we all agree with
that? Sure.
NOW, DWI laws are good, because we don’t
want to have folks out there getting killed or whatnot.
We all, as responsible social drinkers, want to make
sure that, you know, we’re responsible and don’t put
people in danger in terms of violating the law in DWI.
Now, Ms. – – Ms. Genz, how about the
police? How about the scientific programs that we have
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that, you know, look at DNA evidence and look at, you
know, bullet evidence and forensics? Do — should we
have a level of responsibility in our government
agencies as well?
VENIREWOMAN GENZ: Yes.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Now, why? I agree with it.
Why?
VENIREWOMAN GENZ: Responsibilities in our
government agency because no one is above the law.
Everyone — everyone has to account for their decisions
and actions, whether they’re good or bad.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Very good.
NOW, you’ve heard some mention about some
experts, scientific experts.
Mr. Davis, if someone accused you of
something that you disagreed with and felt really strong
about it, so, therefore, you wanted to go to court, have
some justice, should the State be the only people that
are entitled to use an expert?
JUROR DAVIS: I would hope not.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: NOW, why not? Why – – when
you say, “1 would hope not,I1 how many would agree with
Mr. Davis, that as a citizen, you have a right to go and
hire your own expert?
Why is that important, Mr. Davis? Why
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should you have the right to hire an expert who may not
agree with the State expert?
JUROR DAVIS: Everybody’s got
differing opinions. Every expert may have a different
opinion on the same subject.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Very good.
Now, Mr. York, when we think about the
Penal Code statutes, criminal law, getting arrested,
when we think about what responsibility is, in terms of
having a conviction, is a person guilty just because
they’ve been arrested?
JUROR YORK: No.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: NOW, how is that, Mr. York?
How is it that you can be arrested – – and you’re
absolutely right, and a lot of people don’t understand
that, Mr. York. How – – how is it that you can be
arrested and not be guilty?
JUROR YORK: Judgment. Judgment of
the officer or whoever is arresting you. And there
might be something of influence there that made them
think you were, but it’s not necessarily what they
charged you with.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Very good. Judgment.
Mr. Stipp, do you agree with Mr. York?
JUROR STIPP: Yeah. You haven’t been
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proven guilty by a group of your peers.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Now, Mr. Stipp, let’s say
that you’re driving down the road and you’re — you’ re a
citizen driver, and you see someone in front of you – –
and I’m talking this car is just zigzagging all over
three lanes of traffic. You’re about two football
fields behind, but you’ve got some concern. You don’t
know why. Could there be other reasons, besides
alcohol, that is making them zigzagging around?
JUROR STIPP: Without a doubt.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Very good. Now, let’s say an
officer pulls — you call 911, because you’re a little
concerned. You want to make sure that nobody gets hurt.
And so the officer shows up, and the officer smells
alcohol. Should the officer investigate for DWI?
JUROR STIPP: I would think so.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Sure.
And – –
JUROR STIPP: Amongst other things.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Exactly.
And would – – would you say that an
officer’s job, he’s not going to lose his — his job as
an officer if that person goes to trial and it turns out
that they’re on a cell phone, it turns out that they
just aren’t a coordinated person, and the person is
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found not guilty – – is that officer going to lose his
job?
JUROR STIPP: I seriously doubt it.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Sure. As a citizen, wouldn’t
you want that officer to — if they – – if they’ve got to
make a – – a decision on the bubble, trying to make a
decision that would benefit all the citizens is not a
bad idea, is it?
JUROR STIPP: No.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Very good. Thank you, Mr.
Stipp.
And I want to talk about what officers
do. Officers have a job to make an arrest decision on
probable cause, so – – and — and DWI, would you say, MS.
Strickland, that with your common sense you could
determine if somebody was intoxicated?
VENIREWOMAN STRICKLAND: If they were
right in front of me, yes.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Okay.
VENIREWOMAN STRICKLAND: If they were
driving down the road and I was in another vehicle, no.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Okay. Thank you for that
distinction.
Now, do you ever go out socially and
intermingle and have some cocktails?
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VENIREWOMAN STRICKLAND: Yes.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Okay. Now, in that setting,
you see someone come in, they are – – they are as sober
as the Judge, you see them go out and they’ve had way
too many. Do you believe that without testing them on
an alcohol tester that you could determine if they
were – – were intoxicated?
VENIREWOMAN STRICKLAND: Yes.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Okay. NOW, being – – in DWI,
would you agree, Ms. Strickland, that opinions can
vary? Whereas you may – – you may say that somebody’s
intoxicated, somebody else may say, oh, that’s Bubba and
he just looks like that. Let’s say he’s only had just a
couple. So — so when we talk about these arrest
decisions, and the fact that people’s opinions – – I
believe, Ms. Blanchard, you said people can have
differing opinions. Would you agree with the State on
that?
VENIREWOMAN BLANCHARD: (No verbal
response)
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Sure. And that’s just common
sense.
Police officers in a DWI make a decision
to arrest on probable cause.
Could you read that to us, Mr. Denney.
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JUROR DENNEY: Which one?
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Probable cause.
JUROR DENNEY: I’m sorry, I can’t see
that.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Oh, I’m sorry.
JUROR DENNEY: Reasonable and
trustworthy information that a particular person has
committed a particular crime.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: How do you feel about that?
Do officers need to be 100 percent foolproof? Do
they — do they have to be right every single time?
Should they wait in making an arrest decision until
they’ve gotten all the evidence they can possibly get?
JUROR DENNEY: (No verbal
response)
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: So would you agree that
probable cause is a good standard? It – – it’s for the
protection of all citizens, but it doesn’t necessarily
mean that somebody is guilty. Would you agree with
that?
JUROR DENNEY: (Moving head up and
down)
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Okay. When we talk about
DWI, did anybody see in that definition, the three-part
definition, Mr. Wright, when we talk about alcohol and
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intoxication, did you see standardized field sobriety
tests in that definition, or something called the
walk-and-turn and the one-leg stand?
MS. BADGER: I’m going to object to
Counsel getting into the actual field sobriety tests.
THE COURT: 1’11 let you talk about
intoxication, Mimi, but don’t interject any facts in
this case. If you – – you can talk about the law, but
donut interject any facts.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Sure, Judge. Thanks.
Now, when we talk about the law – – and I
don’t want to go into facts about what may or may not
have happened on that night — but do you see if
somebody fails the one-leg stand test that they’re
intoxicated?
MS. BADGER: Ium going to object, again,
to Counsel getting into the facts of the case.
THE COURT: I think that’s interjecting
facts that you may have in this case, too.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Okay. Let me just ask you
this, Mr. Wright. In that legal definition, we saw a
person normal mentally, correct?
JUROR WRIGHT: (No verbal response)
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Okay. A person normal
physically. You didn’t see an exact definition as to
_____
what’s normal physically, did you?
JUROR WRIGHT: (No verbal response)
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Do you – – can you think of
reasons why a person may not do well on specific
physical coordination exercises and being normal?
JUROR WRIGHT: Certainly.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: What kind of reasons can you
think of, Mr. Wright?
JUROR WRIGHT: Someone who has got an
injury could be, you know, off balance, I guess.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Very good. An injury.
How about — Mr. Skaats, Mr. Wright said
an injury. That’s an excellent reason why someone may
not be as coordinated as another person.
Can you think of another reason why a
person may not be normal compared to other people? For
example, alcohol not related?
JUROR SKAATS: (No verbal response)
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: And doing physical tests?
JUROR SKAATS: No.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: How about age?
JUROR SKAATS: Yeah.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Have you ever played
basketball with your granddad?
JUROR SKAATS: No.
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FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: No?
You think you might do a little bit better
than him?
JUROR SKAATS: Yeah.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Okay. So age, that’s a
common sense reason why some person may be better than
another. Would you agree?
JUROR SKAATS: (No verbal response)
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Age. Injuries.
Ms. Black?
VENIREWOMAN BLACK: Medication.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Medication. That’s really
good.
I just want to clarify that that’s what
the law is. When the legislators got together in
Austin, they had to determine what law would govern us
all. And the law is real specific. There is nothing on
there about field sobriety tests. It’s are you normal
mentally; are you normal physically; or at the time that
you’re driving, are you .08 or more? And there’s been
some discussion about .08.
NOW, Mr. Stipp, the State, as per social
custom, they must bring the evidence in this case. The
State has got to prove what is .08 in terms of —
they — if they’re going to get a conviction based on
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.08, and the legislature has determined that .08 is the
number that we use here in Texas, if they prove that,
would you be able to – – and just – – I just want to
clarify, you – – let’s say normally (sic) mentally,
normally (sic) physically, and they prove .08, would you
be able to come back and say conviction?
JUROR STIPP: I don’t think so.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Okay. And I just want to
clarify that, because the State, of course, is entitled
to a fair trial just as the Defense.
But I want to clarify something. Now, Mr.
Smith, let’s say — and this – – this is basically just a
general education question here. Let’s say that the
State has admitted into some evidence — I mean, if an
officer gets on the witness stand and talks, would you
agree that what that officer is saying is evidence?
Would you agree with that?
JUROR SMITH: (No verbal response)
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Sure. Okay.
Would you agree with the fact that if the
State introduces some sort of chemical test specimen,
the results of that chemical test specimen, that’s
evidence, isn’t it?
JUROR SMITH: (No verbal response)
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: NOW, just because a piece of
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paper has been admitted into evidence, via protocol, but
YOU have a doubt about that, oh, let’s say, for example,
you’re concerned about that machine not being a good
machine or whatever, if you’ve got a doubt about a piece
of evidence that’s been admitted, just like the law
says, you have a reasonable doubt, what is your
verdict?
JUROR SMITH: I don’t know.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Now, I guess just to pinpoint
you — and I really don’t like to pinpoint — but
oftentimes the State will ask a question: Well, you
know, if we just had one witness, and that witness
provides evidence that would convince you beyond a
reasonable doubt, can you follow the law and convict?
Some people — some people would say, no. One witness?
You know, not for me. This one person’s opinion is not
going to be good enough for me. And they’re entitled to
ask that. Just like I’m entitled to ask, if, in fact,
the State admits a breath test slip, blood test slip,
whatever chemical specimen, but the evidence showed that
there is a reasonable doubt, that things just don’t hook
up, they don’t sync up, you’ve got a reasonable doubt
about that number, then my question is, the law would
say your verdict would have to be what?
JUROR SMITH: Guilty.
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FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Okay. So I guess – –
JUROR SMITH: It would just depend on
the other evidence. I mean, – –
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Okay. And – – and – –
JUROR SMITH: — YOU know, that was
presented. I don’t know what to say. I mean, no – – you
say, no, not guilty, or, yes, guilty.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Well, because if you said
guilty, if you were to say, Mimi, I tell you what, you
know, I can have a reasonable doubt, two, three, four,
whatever, reasonable doubts, but if – – I’ve got a bias.
If I see a chemical specimen and it’s printed in paper
and it’s admitted into evidence, if I see that, I’m not
going – – even though I have a reasonable doubt, under
the law, with the evidence, I’m not going to be able to
render a not guilty verdict, then, of course, in all
fairness wend have to know that because you would not be
a suitable juror. Does that make sense?
JUROR SMITH: We’re not supposed to
use our biases, are we? Or try not to?
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Specifically — yes. Just
like – – when the Judge asked a question, is there
anybody here that would just automatically believe an
officer? Nobody raised their hand, right? Because if
you did, the law says if you – – if you have a bias
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toward a cop, I mean, this – – this guy could be, you
know, Mark Fuhrman, whoever, whatever – – those people —
some people don’t believe certain officers or some
people do. I mean, if you had a bias, one way or the
other, against a cop, then that means you have a bias.
That means technically you would not be a fair and
impartial juror, because when you sit in that jury box,
you are already starting one side above another, which
would disqualify you as a juror. Does that make sense?
Judge, did I explain that right?
THE COURT: You’re fine.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Okay. So the question on
the breath test is if anybody here would say, you know,
I’m a careful listener and I’m going to consider all the
evidence – – like you said, it would depend on all the
evidence. And let’s say, Mr. Smith, you carefully
listened to all of the evidence, and at the conclusion
of all the evidence, you, Mr. Smith, with your common
sense had a reasonable doubt, now the law says if you
have a reasonable doubt – –
JUROR SMITH: Well, I have to vote not
guilty if I had a reasonable doubt.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Right. And so that’s my only
question, and — and I just want to clarify this with
everybody on the jury. If, in fact, just to make sure
_____
that everybody is suitable as a fair and impartial
juror, if, in fact — the same question — 1’11 ask
everybody, if, in fact, the State admits evidence, says
somebody is over the legal limit at the time they were
driving, then – – but you have a reasonable doubt about
that evidence, what would your verdict be?
JUROR DAVIS: Not guilty.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Okay. And — and I
appreciate the honesty. If anybody – – and sometimes I
get jurors – – and I appreciate that honesty. This is
all about being honest.
Because if you were on trial, Mr. Denney,
you’d want six fair and impartial people, wouldn’t you?
You wouldn’t want somebody up here that has a bias,
would you? Because it wouldn’t be right for you, would
it?
I mean, we all agree that if – – we want to
be as fair to Mr. Clark as we’d be to ourselves. Would
we all agree with that?
Okay. So if anybody here would say, Mimi,
I tell you what, you know, just for whatever reason, I
would be biased if there’s – – if I saw that somebody – –
a piece of evidence said that someone failed whatever
test, then we would need to know that, in all honesty,
so that Mr. Clark could get a fair jury.
_____
Mr. York, the same question. You got a
reasonable doubt about the evidence that’s been
admitted, and it’s a chemical specimen number, what’s
your verdict?
JUROR YORK: If I have a reasonable
doubt, it’s going to be not guilty.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Okay. Very good.
Mr. Stipp?
JUROR STIPP: Not guilty.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Okay. And, Ms. Crafton?
VENIREWOMAN CRAFTON: Not guilty.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Ms. Strickland?
VENIREWOMAN STRICKLAND: (Moving head up
and down)
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Okay. Mr. Wright?
JUROR WRIGHT: Not guilty.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Okay. And you’ve answered
that for me. I don’t mean to pick on you really, Mr.
Smith .
Mr. Skaats?
JUROR SKAATS: Not guilty.
MR. COFFEY: Okay. Ms. Blanchard?
VENIREWOMAN BLANCHARD: Not guilty.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Mr. Denney?
JUROR DENNEY: Not guilty.
_____
2 8
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: And, Ms. Genz?
VENIREWOMAN GENZ: Not guilty.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Ms. King?
VENIREWOMAN KING: Not guilty.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Ms. Sweeney?
VENIREWOMAN SWEENEY: Not guilty.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: And, Ms. Black?
I VENIREWOMAN BLACK: Not guilty. I
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Ms. Strong?
VENIREWOMAN STRONG: Not guilty.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Okay. And, last but not
least, Ms. Martin?
VENIREWOMAN MARTIN: Not guilty.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Okay. Now, Ms. Martin, I
want to ask you a question in terms of what it would be
like to be in a situation where you may not have the
normal use of your mental and physical faculties, but
it’s not due to alcohol. Have you ever been pulled over
for a speeding ticket?
VENIREWOMAN MARTIN: Oh, yes.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: A traffic ticket?
VENIREWOMAN MARTIN: Uh-huh.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: What was that experience like
for you?
VENIREWOMAN MARTIN: Scary.
_____
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: On a scale of one to ten,
ten being the most anxious, where would you say that you
were on that scale, Ms. art in?
VENIREWOMAN MARTIN: Probably a ten.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Okay. How many would agree
with Ms. Martin? I’m a lawyer and I – – I’d agree with
you.
Now, Ms. Martin, have – – could you see
yourself, or have you ever found yourself in that type
of scary situation where you might be saying things or
doing things that you wouldn’t otherwise normally do?
VENIREWOMAN MARTIN: Uh-huh.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: And why is that?
VENIREWOMAN MARTIN: Because if you’re
scared, you’re nervous, or whatever, you know, it’s like
I tend to stutter or whatever. You know – –
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Very – –
VENIREWOMAN MARTIN: – – mumble.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Very good.
Now, would we all agree that being scared
or being nervous — I mean, with our common sense, we
can – – we can see that being scared or nervous is not
the same as intoxication. Would we agree with that? I
mean, do we all feel confident that we can distinguish
that?
_____
Okay. Now, how about – – Ms. Sweeney,
when you were in school, what was your favorite
subject?
VENIREWOMAN SWEENEY: Band.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Band. You must have been a
straight-A band student. Would that be fair to say?
VENIREWOMAN SWEENEY: (No verbal response)
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Now, what did you play?
VENIREWOMAN SWEENEY: The flute.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: The flute. Okay.
Did you go to those competitions where
they rate you and —
VENIREWOMAN SWEENEY: Uh-huh.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Excellent.
Now, it’s so interesting that you should
say that. My 7th grade son just did that the other day.
He came back and he said he got a one. He said, mom, I
got a one. That means that – – you know, that’s the
highest that you can go. He plays the saxophone.
NOW, when you went to those competitions,
were there times where you would score — was it — one
pretty good, or have they changed the system?
VENIREWOMAN SWEENEY: (No verbal response)
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Okay. So when you score a
one, did you have some buddies and some friends and
_____
some – – well, you know, some fellow students that
wouldn’t score a one?
VENIREWOMAN SWEENEY: Uh-huh.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Now, would you say that they
were pretty average flutists?
VENIREWOMAN SWEENEY: (Moving head up and
down)
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: So, Ms. Sweeney, how would
you define “averageM when we — when it comes to playing
a flute?
VENIREWOMAN SWEENEY: One being – – would
be able to play the music as it needs to be played, not
going above and not falling below what would be the
normal standard.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: NOW, Ms. Crafton, you’re a
teacher, right?
VENIREWOMAN CRAFTON: Yes.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: That was an excellent
definition, wasn’t it?
VENIREWOMAN CRAFTON: Wow.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Okay. Now, Ms. Crafton,
would you agree that there’s a range for normal? I
mean, not everybody has to be a one in band, not
everybody has to be a straight-A student to be average.
Would you — would you agree with that?
_____
VENIREWOMAN CRAFTON: Absolutely.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Now, Ms. Crafton, do you
believe that with reason and common sense, you could
determine if somebody is normal? Does that make sense
to you?
VENIREWOMAN CRAFTON: Yes.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Okay. Mr. Davis, do you
think with reason and common sense, you could determine
whether or not somebody was normal or intoxicated?
JUROR DAVIS: Yes.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Okay. How would you
describe, Mr. Davis, well, I mean, somebody who is
really intoxicated?
JUROR DAVIS: Are they actually up
walking?
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Yes. Yes.
JUROR DAVIS: If they’re walking,
they’re not walking very well.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: That’s very good.
And is that just based on – – I mean, when
we talk about observations of people being drunk – – and
we know that the legal definition is not drunk, the
legal definition is are you normal. Now, when we talk
about people who are on the high end of drunk, you said
that they would be walking normally. Is this based on
_____
just life experience, that you could look at someone and
tell whether or not they’re intoxicated?
JUROR DAVIS: Yeah.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Does that indicate you’ve
been to a few frat parties?
JUROR DAVIS: No, I’ve never been to a
frat party. I can honestly say that.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: College experience?
JUROR DAVIS: Yeah, a little bit.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Okay. NOW, when we talk
about being highly intoxicated, now I just want to
clarify that you said, Mr. Davis, with reason and common
sense, you could determine that. Still confident of
that?
JUROR DAVIS: (No verbal response)
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Everybody feel confident of
that? That – – that even though the law of intoxication
is on a spectrum, means – – just that you’re not normal,
but is there anybody here that would say I’m not
comfortable being able to determine levels of
intoxication? Just — either because you’re a
nondrinker, don’t allow it in your house, or any – –
anybody that would say, you know, I wouldn’t be a good
juror because, quite frankly, I’d – – you know, I
just – – I have a bias against alcohol. And I don’t mean
_____
to say you have a bias, but you’re just not around it
enough to be able to use common sense. Anybody?
JUROR DENNEY: Yeah, I am. I don’t
drink —
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Okay.
JUROR DENNEY: — go to bars.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Now, would you, Mr. Denney,
have to commit murder to be a fair juror in a murder
case?
JUROR DENNEY: No.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: No? That would be kind of
crazy, wouldn’t it?
So would you agree, Mr. Denney, that
nondrinkers can be just as fair as anybody else, and
should be just as fair as anybody else, on a DWI case?
I mean, isn’t that —
JUROR DENNEY: Yes.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: – – following the law?
Okay. Now, Mr. Skaats, do you drink?
JUROR SKATTS: Very rarely —
THE COURT: Mimi, you’ve used 30 minutes.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Okay. Thank you, Judge.
I’m sorry?
JUROR SKAATS: Very rarely.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Okay. And, Mr. Skaats, just
_____
because you don’t drink or you drink very rarely, do you
feel that that might in some way inhibit you from being
a fair and impartial juror?
JUROR SKAATS: (Moving head side to
side. )
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ: Okay.
Thank you, Judge.
I appreciate your time. Thank you.
…………………….

Francisco Hernandez

Author Francisco Hernandez

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