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Talking out of turn

Talking out of turn


  • Ma’am, isn’t it true you had been drinking that day. (The complaining witness was kind of on my side at this point.)

Yes.

  • And in fact, you were a little tipsy?

Yes.

  • A little, intoxicated.

Yes.

  • Maybe highly intoxicated.  (And I heard a murmur from the jury box.)

Yes.

  • In fact you were sloshed. (And I looked at the juror in the front row.  A local woman, maybe early forties.  Working mother if I’m not mistaken, and louder I heard her whisper a particular word.)

Yes.

  • In fact you were kind of drunk. (And this woman says the same word louder. Now you’re not really supposed to talk as a juror.  It’s not like everyone gets to join in. Some attorneys go their whole career without a juror jumping in and trying to help them in their job.)

Yes.

  • In fact you were blitzed. (And now I swear she’s almost yelling the word.  It’s a little uncomfortable. I’m looking at the prosecutor and bailiff, but maybe because I’m standing about a foot and a half away, and it’s SO silent otherwise,  maybe that’s why it resonates in my mind.)

Yes.

Now, here’s where my memory plays tricks on me.  I know for a fact what I remember the word being. But I also know for a fact it absolutely was not that word, even though I cannot imagine what the word actually was.  When I try to remember what it actually was, this is the word I remember, but logically looking back it couldn’t have been this remembered word.  So with that forewarning, let me tell you my memory tells me the word she had been saying was:

“Sh__faced!”

So with my best Perry Mason finger-point I ask the witness:

  • Isn’t it true you to borrow a word (I turn and look at the juror.  We exchange smiles) were Sh__tfaced!!!!

And the witness, friendly and having seen all of this, leans forward in her witness chair, and entirely too loud into the microphone answers :

“OH YEAH!”