Jury Duty, Part 4: The First Witnesses

In which we hear statements from witnesses

I’ve sat in court for about 14 days (Mon-Thur every week) now, and it’s been a learning experience. The first few witnesses were actual eyewitnesses who were robbed that night; their stories pretty much lined up with each other.

We start with prosecution witnesses. Each witness takes the stand after being sworn in, and the DA questions them. After she is done questioning them, each defense attorney then gets a chance to question the witness, but only about things that the DA brought up; they can’t randomly ask “do you know if [VICTIM] ever stole a car?” because the DA will object and it will almost certainly get sustained.

Once the defense attorneys are finished questioning the witness, the DA has the option to re-direct examine, if she wanted to discuss anything that came up during the cross examination, which can start the whole process over again.

Today’s gem, asked of the 911 call center supervisor who was on the stand being cross examined by the attorney for Defendant 2:

Defense Attorney: “Can you tell me, in exact numbers, the nanoseconds or microseconds it takes for a call to be transferred from highway patrol to Oakland PD?”

911 Supervisor (the witness): “No, I cannot.”

Judge: “Ms. Lawyer, I don’t think anyone here, jury included, can measure time in milliseconds, let alone microseconds or nanoseconds.”

Defense: “…I withdraw my question.”

These sort of inane questions are sort of typical for this attorney. Like I said previously, cringe-worthy.

The Jury Duty Saga