Jury duty: Part IV — summations

12 Oct

Summations are the last opportunity for the defense and the prosecution to get across salient aspects of their case.

The order is reverse from the opening statements.

The defendant’s attorney reiterated his opening statement that the prosecution had offered no viable evidence that his client had broken into the victim’s trailer home and stolen the television and wooden jewelry box.

He said that testimony showed that his defendant did not know the television that her friend brought over was stolen.

He admitted she was a bit naive in pawning the television for her friend, but that she was doing him a favor, knowing he was destitute.

He then repeated the words “beyond reasonable doubt,” and explained that, while we might have some doubts regarding the case, it must be beyond reasonable.

He mentioned the prosecution would bring into play a legal definition of proximity, wherein the defendant could be found guilty circumstantially because of the time of the break-in and larceny to the moment his defendant pawned the television.

He asked us to discount that, and to examine the facts.

“What has the prosecution definitively proved beyond the shadow of a doubt?”

Again, he admitted that his client did pawn the television. But, he said, she did not know it was stolen, and the prosecution could offer nothing that proved she did.

The attorney then reminded us that the last argument we would hear would come from the prosecution, and he bade us to remember what he had told us.

He asked us to find in favor of the defendant — innocent on all four charges.

The prosecution attorney arose and stepped in front of the jury box. She immediately reminded us that the video tape of the defendant was proof that the television was in the defendant’s possession and that she willingly pawned it.

“We don’t know who the man was who opened up the door for her. They say it was the man who brought the television to her house and asked her to take him to the pawn shop. But was it? Or was it a nice gentleman who saw an attractive woman with her arms full?

“Why did the defendant not update her information the pawn shop had to her current address?

“Why did the defendant not ask her friend, who she knew was destitute, where the television came from? I would have. You would have. It is reasonable to think and expect that she would.

“And I contend she did know.”

“How did her friend just show up at her house that morning? Did he walk, carrying the television? Did a friend drop him off? Or had he and she returned to her home after the break-in and robbery, just before her girlfriend arrived?”

“And, where is this man? Investigators have searched for information about him that doesn’t exist.”

“I believe our defendant loves to shop and spend money. I believe she pawned the television and took the $75 to go out with her girlfriend.”

She reminded us that often circumstantial evidence is enough to convict, and that the proximity of time from the break-in and larceny to when the defendant pawned the television was a matter of hours.

“It was pawned before the victim discovered the break-in and theft,” said the attorney.

She asked us to find the defendant guilty on all four charges.

The judge instructed us to first select a foreman, whose duty would be to conduct a methodic examination of the evidence, and who would ensure that each juror’s opinion would be heard.

He then explained some of the legalese — such as reasonable doubt, circumstantial and proximity, and gave us his notes for reference.

As it was late in the day, he reminded us that a verdict depended upon our deliberation, which should not be compressed due to the late hour. If the court needed to reconvene the following day, it would.

He then reminded us if such occurred, we were to wear our juror’s badges at all times, and not discuss anything about the trial to anyone — family included.

He asked us to report to the bailiff in the event anyone approached us and tried to influence us in our decision.

And then he adjourned us to the jury room to deliberate.


One Response to “Jury duty: Part IV — summations”

  1. RoSy October 12, 2013 at 11:50 pm #

    Ohhhh – the suspense.

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