Friday, November 22, 2013

 
HUNG JURY - FOR THE SECOND TIME
 
This post is more of a lesson post.  This is our second hung jury in the same case.  I just got the text.  It is the type case which is nearly impossible because how do you convince a jury a 14 year old girl is lying about having been sexually molested by an older man.  You cannot attack the girl while she is on the stand.
 
The only reason we have two hung juries and not not guilty is because in these cases, jurors lie  about being willing to listen to the facts and simply want to convict before they are chosen to sit on the jury.
 
The key facts to this case which got us the hung jury twice is - one the father waited some 5 years, according to his story, after he was told about the incident to report it to the police.  Second, he reported it to the police after his son was sentenced to 10 years TDC for trying to kill the daughter of the man he was now accusing of sexually assaulting his daughter.  With these kind of facts a jury should be able to come back fast, not guilty.  But sometimes some jurors will never consider the evidence and just go with their bias.
 
My job was to predict evidentiary issues, and have the defense counsel ready to go when they came up.  The judge threw TRE 610 out the window and allowed the girl to testify she is a pure as snow because she follows the church's teachings.  This opened the door her prior sexual acts to show she lied.  The judge said no way.
 
The second time, their own witness testified she was thrown out of school for her sexual activity, so in effect their own witness told the jury she was lying when she claimed to be loyal to church teachings.
 
The sad part is the state will try this a third time.  We have a bad judge and a DA who cannot take a hint from two hung juries.
 
The job of the defense attorney is to insure the state follows the rules.  If the defense attorney does that then they have done their job.  People think a jury verdict means someone is innocent or guilty.  It means neither.  It means based on the evidence the jury found innocent or guilty.  Every day guilty people walk and innocent people go to jail.  But in the end, it is the only system we have.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

This gives new meaning to, try, try again.

Anonymous said...

"...jurors lie about being willing to listen to the facts and simply want to convict before they are chosen to sit on the jury."

That is a general statement with no truth to it.

BobbyWC said...

Now let's do this honestly instead of a quote out of context. "because in these cases, jurors lie about being willing to listen to the facts and simply want to convict before they are chosen to sit on the jury."

These cases meaning child molestation cases - not all cases. I have done far too many of these to know it is true. In some cases the jury decides before the first witness.

If you think prospective jurors never lie to get on a jury, you have never picked a jury. It does not happen all of the time - but it happens - and it happens a lot in child moestation cases.

Bobby W C

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on knowing how every juror in "these" cases thinks.