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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The hardest part...part 2/4

Today I had a bench trial, and I would have bet you my first born that I was going to be successful for my client. (OK, maybe not my FIRST born but definitely any future children).

I was prepared to rip the officer a new one on the stand, I was prepared for my oral motion for judgment of acquittal, I was prepared to every objection the state could send my way. I was prepared.  The trial begins and I realize that I do not have to try as hard as I initially thought.  The officer is being pretty cooperative on the stand, giving me everything that I need for my upcoming JOA and giving me a little bit more to work with.  His direct was helpful; his cross, my cross was beautiful.  So I get to the JOA, encompass a motion to supress in there (it's a misdemeanor bench trial and that's how they do them in my jurisdiction.  Yup, right in the middle of the trial), deliver it flawlessly and the judge denies them both.

On the outside I stay cool. But on the inside.......



The officer in this case admitted that they had an arrest warrant for my client.  They went to the place they believed to be his home in order to execute the warrant.  When they get there, no one answers the door.

They listen.

No movement inside. No television on.  No stereo system playing.  No furniture being moved.  No sound of whispering or tip-toing.  The apartment is on the 2nd level but they still have officers stationed in the back; no one reports any windows being opened, any blinds being 'peered through' and no one trying to escape. 

So what do the officers do? Why they let themselves in of course!

According to the judge I was in front of today, as long as the officers had a felony arrest warrant, they could have kicked this kids door in as far as he was concerned. 

The hardest part of my job is when you have to swallow the very large pill that brings you back to reality.  The reality is that lady justice does have on a blindfold but it is see-through.  The material has worn so thin and not only can she see you, you could make out her eyes as well if you wanted to do so.  The hardest part of my job is when you realize there are some members of the 'courthouse workgroup' that need a refreasher course on what the 4th amendment means.  Fortunately, we appealed the case and I will get another crack at it.  Unfortunately, I'm not sure the outcome will be that much better.  We seem to be losing the fight ladies and gents.  But we keep on fighting the good fight.  That has to be the hardest part...

Until next time,

Be blessed, be careful, don't confess and don't consent.

~LT