The second day of trail picked up where the first day of trial ended. That is, the state finished questioning their second witness.

Below, the time each activity took will be formatted 00:00:00 (hours:minutes:seconds)

Witnesses

Witness 2

Start time: 8:30 am

Finishing direct: 00:07:30

Cross: 01:29:33

Redirect: 00:00:30

Around 9 am, one party had an objection to the testimony that was being provided. Counsel for both the state and the defendant approached the bench but were unable to resolve the issue there. As such, the jury was excused so the objection could be made on the record, to preserve the record. The particular issue here is that the witness provided testimony that was not coorberated with previous testimony (namely, the extent of injuries this witness had sustained). Consequently, the judge sustained the objection. The jury returned to the courtroom, and the judge instructed the jury to disregard the specific testimony. This process lasted for about 20 minutes.

Lunch

Lasted from 12:00 to 1:30

Witness 3

Direct: 00:06:30

Cross: 00:23:15

Redirect: 00:01:15

Witness 4

Direct: 00:13:00

Cross: 00:32:00

Redirect: 00:00:30

Witness 5

Direct: 00:05:00

Cross: 00:04:40

No redirect

State Rests

After the state has finished questioning all their witnesses, the state rests. This means that the state has fully presented their case in a manner they believe has established guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The collection of state witnesses included:

  • The bar owner
  • Bar security
  • Officers on duty
  • Private security agency
  • etc.

Defense

Now that the defense begins their case in chief, the defense counsel will be beginning with direct followed by cross from the state.

Witness 1

Direct: 00:16:55

Cross: 00:11:34

Redirect: 2:12

Witness 2

Direct: 00:25:17

Cross: 00:15:21

There was no redirect.

Following the second witness, the court decided to wrap everything up and dismiss the jury for the day.

Issues of Law

Whenever there is an issue of the law involved in an objection, the issue is resolved outside of the presence of the jury. For instance, an issue of law is whether testimony should be struck from the record. The purpose of discussing outside of the presence of the jury is so that the parties may speak freely and on the record. Although the court would prefer to have fewer discussions outside the presence of the jury, sometimes those discussions are necessary.

Ultimately, the biggest lesson I learned from this week was the importance of preserving the record. If there is any issues a party has, they must be in the record for an appeal to be made. If the material is lacking, the appellate court has no written documentation to base their opinions on.

Throughout the trial, and since, I have heard several attorneys say that the purpose of trial court is only to prepare the record for an appeal.

Process to Admit Evidence

Although this process has already been outlined in previous information about the trial, I feel it is appropriate to share verbatim how the process works.

There are two processes by which evidence is admitted:

Scenario 1

Questioning counsel: Judge, I would like to offer exhibit [A] into evidence.

Judge: Any objections?

Opposing counsel: No.

Judge: Admitted.

Questioning counsel: May the exhibit be published?

Judge: You may.

Questioning counsel then puts the exhibit on display for the witness to describe.

Scenario 2

Questioning counsel: Judge, I would like to offer exhibit [A] into evidence.

Judge: Any objections?

Opposing counsel: Yes, for these reasons.

Judge: Response?

Questioning Party: This exhibit should be admitted for the following reasons.

Judge: Admitted or Denied.

[The following is not relevant if the request is denied]

Questioning counsel: May the exhibit be published?

Judge: You may.

Questioning counsel then puts the exhibit on display for the witness to describe.

Objections

  • Argumentative: Arguing with the witness
  • Improper Impeachment: There are specific procedures for impeachment (I’m not sure exactly what the procedure is). Failure to follow the procedures results in this objection.
  • Relevance: Different from yesterday. This time, the material testified to was not yet in evidence.
  • Lack of personal knowledge: Asking the witness to testify about something they do not know.

Will Laursen

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