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The primary function of my job is justice is to make sure that justice is done in the court system. I sometimes represent victims and most of the time represent defendants that are accused of crimes.
I work primarily in the state criminal courts and usually it’s just the prosecutor and the defense attorney negotiating dispositions and exchanging discovery on behalf of the client. It is impossible for me to watch any show based on the criminal justice system. It is usually completely inaccurate because there are rules that we all have to abide by and if they displayed an accurate representation of what those rules are, it would be really boring programming when I was in law school. Actually, we had a game that helped us prepare for trial, advocacy situations. I think it was called objection and that actually helped prepare me for the bar exam.
So I guess in that sense I do have some video cables pertaining to this kind of thing, but just looking at the graphics here, I’m gon na guess it’s probably not super accurate. Let’S do this August 3rd 9:47 a.m.
District court defendant lobby number 2 boy – am i nervous? Oh my god, Oh hiya chief, I think she’d be admonished and thrown out of court for wearing that whoo.
I’M glad I made it on time. Dominatrix gig takes a lot of time out of her day. It’S over my life. Everything it’s all over is that your client screaming over there yeah, that’s good, hey, hey there. Larry Larry needs a minute to come down off of the mess.
My name is Phoenix Wright. Here’S the story. My first case is a fairly simple one. A young woman was killed in her apartment. The guy they arrested was the unlucky SAP dating her Larry Butz, my best friend since grade school, but I know better than anyone that he’s a good guy at heart.
That, and I owe him one, which is why I took the case to clear his name. No one uses a gavel in state court. The prosecution is ready. Your honor, the defense, is ready. Your honor, mr Wright this is your first trial.
Is it not yeah? Yes, your honor, I’m a little nervous. I think we should have a test to ascertain your readiness. Yes, your honor that doesn’t happen. The judge doesn’t give you a test to determine whether or not you’re capable of being an effective advocate for your client.
Please state the name of the defendant in this case. Okay, so Larry Butz the defendant. Well, that’s Larry, Butz Your Honor next question: this is a murder trial. Tell me what’s the victim’s name, who I know this one glad I read the case report cover to cover so many times. That’S all it takes really.
Is you just have to read the police report you’re totally ready to handle a murder trial? That’S a joke! No! No way! I forgot I’m drawing a total blank here.
Phoenix. Are you absolutely sure, I’m sorry, I can’t win her outfit. It’S got to be this one. The victim’s name is Cindy stone, correct. She died because she was hit with a blunt object.
Correct the murder weapon was the statue of the thinker statute. Added to the record. A statute in the shape of the thinker is rather heavy. The prosecution calls the defendant the Constitution and it prevents the prosecution from not only being able to call the defendant to testify against himself, but can’t even comment on the fact that the defendant has chosen not to take the stand. This is a blatant violation of this man’s constitutional rights.
Uh-Oh Larry gets excited easily. This could be bad, which is one of the things you take into consideration as a defense attorney as to why you don’t put your client on the stand. If they don’t come off. Well, if they’re not gon na testify well, then that’s gon na be extremely problematic. For your case, mr Butz, is it not true that the victim had recently dumped you?
We were great together, we were Romeo and Juliet Cleopatra Mark Anthony. I wasn’t dumped, she just wasn’t taking my phone calls or seeing me ever Your Honor, the victim’s Passport. According to this, she was in Paris until the day before she died. The victim apparently arrived home from Paris on July 30th. The day before the murder you went to the victim’s apartment on the day of the murder.
Did you not well? Maybe I did, and maybe I did it this is why I can’t watch TV shows that are based on the criminal justice system. They go a lot like this. Have him answer honestly? Stop him from answering.
It is always the answer I’ll send him a signal. No lie like a dog: no that’s suborning perjury! Don’T do that. This game should be called how to not defend somebody in a murder case. Um well see it’s like this.
I don’t remember you don’t remember. Well then, we’ll just have to remind you. We have a witness that can prove he did go to the victims apartment that day. Well, that simplifies matters who’s, your witness, the man who found the victim’s body, what? Why isn’t that guy a suspect?
Just before making the gruesome discovery, he saw the defendant fleeing the scene of the crime order. Order in the court never heard that ever not even once, except for on TV. Mr Payne the prosecution may call its witness on the day of the murder. My witness was selling newspapers at the victim’s building. Please bring mr.
Frank, saw it to the stand. Let’S just see what happens here you sell newspaper subscriptions. Is this correct its objection? That’S a leading question: when you have a witness on direct examination, you can only ask them open-ended questions. I was going door-to-door selling subscriptions when I saw a man fleeing an apartment.
I thought he must be in a hurry because he left the door half open behind him. Thinking it’s strange. I looked inside the apartment, then I saw her lying there, a woman not moving dead, Ike wailed in fright and found myself unable to go inside. I thought to call the police immediately. However: the phone in her apartment wasn’t working.
I went to a nearby park and found a public phone. This takes place in the 80s. There was no cell phones. I remember the time exactly. It was 1:00 pm
The man who ran was, without a doubt, the defendant sitting right over there. Why wasn’t the phone in the victims apartment working your honor at the time of the murder? There was a blackout in the building. Mr.
Wright, you may cross-examine the witness. You know what to do clearly. He does not know what to do so. It was 1:00 o’clock, pm.
which is in between the blackout, oh, she dies at 4:00 p.m.
The autopsy report indicates that the time of death is sometime between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m.
Which is a waste smaller window, then there probably usually able to give you, but that’s great, because it narrows it down, and it shows that if he saw her at 1:00 pm.
Then he’s either mistaken or he’s lying, you found the body at 1:00 p.m. you’re sure, Yes, it was 1:00 pm
for certain frankly, I find that hard to believe. Okay, don’t say that the autopsy notes, the time of death at some time after 4:00 p.m. there was nobody to no body to find in 1 p.m.
How do you explain this three-hour gap? Oh that, Oh great job, right way to put him on the spot, see through one and their whole story, falls apart. That’S actually something that was taught to me in trial advocacy as well. The devil is in the details. So when I was a prosecutor – and I was conducting cross-examination of eyewitnesses that were testifying on behalf of the defense, they would tell one small lie in some of my cases and if I just keep unraveling that particular fact pattern, they have to continue lying and then They eventually will catch themselves in a very obvious lie for the jury and that will discount all the rest of their testimony.
Wait, I remember now you see when I found the body I heard the time there was a voice saying the time it was probably coming from the television oh, but it was three hours off. Wasn’T it I guess the victim must have been watching a video of a taped program. That’S why I thought it was 1:00 p.m.
Terribly sorry about the misunderstanding notice anything suspicious.
Oh, she could have been watching television, it was the electricity was out, you couldn’t have heard a television or a video. Do you have an explanation for this? Mister saw it also not something that you happens during the cross-examination. It would be left to the prosecutor to redirect this witness to explain any inconsistencies. Well, wait.
I remember now mister saw it. The court would prefer to hear inaccurate testimony from the very beginning. It would prefer in this murder trial, maybe potentially, if you could not lie that would be really helpful. Let’S hear your testimony once more. Please really again sure.
Actually I didn’t hear the time I saw it. There was a table clock in the apartment. Wasn’T there yeah he’s asking himself, I’m answering his own question. In case you were wondering yeah, the murder weapon, the killer used it to hit the victim. That must have been what I saw.
You saw a clock. I guess that would explain it cross-examination hearing the time. Actually, I didn’t hear the time I saw it. There was a table clock in the apartment. Wasn’T there yeah the murder weapon that the killer used to hit the victim?
That must have been what I saw. It’S a statue, the murder weapon was in a clock. It was this statue, hey, I I saw it there. Okay, that’s a clock! Your Honor, if I may everyone’s sweating profusely as the witness stated, this statute is indeed a clock.
The neck is a switch, you just tilt it and it says the time out loud. So the murder weapon was a table clock. After all, it appears that the witness’s testimony was correct. This is a clock. Do you have any problems with his testimony?
Now? Yes, yes, I have problems. The only way he could have known the weapon was a clock is to hold it in his hand, yet the witness testified that he never entered the apartment. Hmm, indeed, the witness knew it was a clock because he he went into the apartment you were inside. Of the apartment on the day of the murder – oh yeah prove it prove I went in there I’ll do it better than that.
I can prove you were the one who killed her. You struck her with the clock and the shock of the blow triggered the clocks voice. That was the sound you heard. Well, what’s the meaning of this? That’S not a legal objection.
This is all baseless conjecture. Also, not a legal objection. Did you strike the victim with the clock? Look, I the clock. I heard no, I mean I saw a saw.
Okay, do you have any evidence again? He is not the one that supposed to bring forth evidence. The sound mister saw it heard was definitely this clock, a fact which is clear if you simply try sounding the clock, let’s sound the clock now here in this court. I ask the court to listen very carefully. I’D like to see the DNA report on the clock.
I think it’s 8:25. That is certainly a strange way to announce the time. Mr Paine, can you tell me what time it is now it’s 11:25 ACK, as you can see, this clock is exactly three hours slow, precisely the discrepancy between what mr. saw it heard and the actual time of death. You forgot one thing uh-oh, what’s he talking about now, while it may seem like that clock is running three hours slow, it proves nothing.
How do you know it was running three hours slow on the day of the murder he’s right? How am I going to prove that damn it I was so close, and then the burden of proof shifted to the defense and all hell broke loose, not so fast. Mr Saw it yeah, I mean chief, listen up right. Can you think of a reason as to why the clock would be three hours slow? I mean I’m sure, there’s a reason.
Let’S see this evidence, that proves why the clock was running slow, I’m gon na go with that one. The Blackout record. Excuse me, this proves your claim how well it’s a plug in clock and the power went out. Maybe it was out for three hours and now it’s you know, I can’t see what that evidence has to do with the clock. Dough that wasn’t it all right.
Mr. right, okay he’s got another chance here we go. Is it the passport? The victim got home from Paris. Is there only a three-hour time change between Paris and here and she took the clock with her to Paris yeah, it’s got ta be the passport.
Let’S try that the victim had just returned home from abroad, the day of the murder. When it’s 4:00 p.m,
Here, it’s 1:00 a.m; The next day there the clock wasn’t three hours slow. It was nine hours fast.
Oh, it didn’t specify whether there was an AM or PM component. I would have picked that first, the victim, and why did she take her clock with her to Paris the victim hadn’t reset her clock since returning home it was heavy. Do you know how expensive it would be in her luggage to take a heavy statue to Paris? That’S why the time you heard when you struck her dead in her apartment was wrong. Proof enough for you, mister saw it or should I say mister did it.
Oh, my god what happened to you? She was signed up. He just foamed at the mouth and then keeled over order order. I say I have to say I’m impressed. I don’t think I’ve ever seen, someone complete a defense so quickly and find the true crop a culprit at the same time.
Yes, it’s all of our dream to have it actually go something like this. Thank you, your honor. At this point. This is only a formality, but this Court finds the defendant. Mr Larry Butz not guilty what are these jurors doing there and with that?
This Court is adjourned, victory not guilty verdict from the judge, but whatever we’ll take it, you know client gets to go home and deal with his Smith, a habit or whatever is going on with his eyes, but not guilty on the murder with cross-examination. Apparently the prosecution’s witness, despite the fact that the client took the stand first and testify totally unrealistic. The biggest issues that I have here is one is that the defendant took the stand as part of the prosecution’s case-in-chief. That doesn’t happen ever. He is constitutionally protected from having to do that, and the other thing is that the burden shifted in the middle from having to have the prosecutor proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was guilty to having the defense attorney prove that he did not do it And that this other person did oftentimes in our cases, especially in a trial setting when we have a plausible other party, that could potentially be a suspect.
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