The Campaign For DA

2.26.2008

Little Slow Today

The County Attorney's office is trying to pull off a trifecta this week: Three jury trials in one week. Whenever that happens, I'm involved. Heavily. Yesterday they got a guilty verdict in a DWI trial with a defense lawyer I had never hear of. Today, I've got a case scheduled to go to trial (also a DWI) and on Thursday I'm up again. Today's case would be a great defense case but the video in the trooper's car didn't work. You would think that would help the defense, but it normally doesn't. The jury is much more inclined to take the word of the trooper when they don't have the actual video evidence to compare it against. I'll try to keep you updated during breaks and down time. Edit: 11:12 am. Jury selected. Four men. Two women. Not perfect but I think I have a fighting chance. Edit: Break for lunch. Trooper has testified. Cross-examination coming up. All this waiting makes me crazy as Ted Kennedy in Laredo. Edit: Well, it's over. Case dismissed by the prosecutor. And I'll give credit to both him and the trooper. Here's what the law is: An officer is allowed to use his police report to "refresh his memory" about what transpired during the DWI investigation. He may not simply rely upon the report if he has no memory of the incident. I noticed during the trooper's direct examination that he would rely heavily on the report - almost using it for all his answers. So, before the jury was brought in after lunch, I was allowed to ask him questions about what he actually remembered and what he was testifying about simply because his report said it was so. I'll give the trooper the utmost respect for honesty: he could not recall the details of how the defendant performed on the field sobriety tests. And it's not all his fault - the prosecutor had lost the DVD of the stop somewhere along the way so he couldn't use it to refresh his memory. (In their defense, I think this is the first time I can remember the CA's office ever misplacing a DVD.) And, in the end, the right result probably occurred. The officer followed my guy from Frilly's all the way to 380 (and other than "following too closely" to another vehicle briefly, committed no other traffic violations and didn't even swerve within his lane. (I even recreated his course of travel here but never got to use it.) And according to the police report, he was able to keep one foot in the air for thirty seconds during the One Leg Stand.