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Tue Mar 30, 2021, 08:59 PM

Judge Cahill needs to be replaced

I've only seen a small part of the trial so far, but on the part I did see, I feel that the judge behaved in a biased and disrespectful manner. He called the EMT witness Genevieve Hansen "argumentative."

Really? These are regular people doing their duty and testifying in front of a worldwide audience. It takes guts and courage to do so.

The last thing a judge should be doing is berating these brave individuals!

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Response to ecstatic (Original post)

Tue Mar 30, 2021, 09:03 PM

1. Cahill is a very experienced judge with a long-standing reputation for fairness

and impartiality. There's nothing unusual or inappropriate about a judge reminding a witness that they shouldn't argue with the attorney who is questioning them - if you've ever watched or participated in more than a few real trials you'd have probably seen this; it's not at all unusual. People who aren't used to testifying in court and who feel like they are being badgered will often try to argue with the lawyer or the judge and they will be reminded not to do that.

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Response to ecstatic (Original post)


Response to Chin music (Reply #2)

Tue Mar 30, 2021, 09:06 PM

3. Cahill doesn't need fifteen minutes of fame. He's a well-respected judge

in this county and he's handling his role appropriately by reminding a witness that they shouldn't argue with the lawyers. There's nothing unusual or improper about this.

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Response to Ocelot II (Reply #3)

Tue Mar 30, 2021, 09:09 PM

4. The defense asked if people were swearing

The EMT said something along the lines of, "I don't know if you've ever seen anybody killed, but it's upsetting."

It was a dumb f*cking question and her response was appropriate, IMO. lol

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Response to ecstatic (Reply #4)

Tue Mar 30, 2021, 10:39 PM

15. Did her response answer the question asked?

If not, it is non-responsive to the question (whether it is an accurate sentiment or not).

Attorneys ask very specific questions - and those questions are not (in the rules of the court) permission to answer some other question.

As long as the question follows the rules (and this one did), defense counsel is entitled to ask it - and is entitled to have it (and not a different question) answered.

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Response to ecstatic (Original post)

Tue Mar 30, 2021, 09:11 PM

5. I have not had that impression

Yes, he scolded Ms. Hansen, but, from an objective perspective, it wasn't unwarranted.

Don't get me wrong, she was amazing. But, she obviously had had enough of the defense attorney's insinuations, inane questions, and innuendo and she let him know it.

The last thing a judge should be doing is seeming to be partisan toward anyone. That way leads to an appeal.

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Response to ecstatic (Original post)

Tue Mar 30, 2021, 09:13 PM

6. also the defense tried to lessen or keep out a lot of the information from

Donald Williams (the MMA guy). But Cahill let it all be in the record... and Williams' testimony was awesome.

(This was said on HLM who are covering the trial, so I don't have a link)

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Response to IcyPeas (Reply #6)

Tue Mar 30, 2021, 09:14 PM

8. ok. Maybe I need to catch up with all the rest of the testimony

I'm behind.

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Response to ecstatic (Original post)

Tue Mar 30, 2021, 09:13 PM

7. As I really, Argumentative" testimony has a specialc legal meaning..

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Response to ecstatic (Original post)

Tue Mar 30, 2021, 09:15 PM

9. People are learning in real-time what actually goes on in a trial, and it ain't like on TV.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #9)

Tue Mar 30, 2021, 09:31 PM

10. It's a great opportunity for the public to see how trials really work.

My dad was a lawyer (as was I), and I remember how when I was a kid we'd watch Perry Mason on tv and Dad would yell at the tv, "No! It doesn't work that way! That would never happen!" and then deliver a dissertation about how you cross-examine a witness and what constitutes hearsay. Perry Mason was an extreme example of dramatic license in the depiction of trials, but even more recent tv shows and movies aren't much better. So far this is a well-conducted trial with a capable, experienced judge and good lawyers. Even the defense lawyer is competent; he just has a crappy case and he has to throw everything at the wall in the hope that something will stick. He's doing his job, which at this point is damage control - getting a conviction on the least onerous charge rather than an acquittal on all charges. The prosecutors are doing an excellent job wrt their strategy in the order they are presenting their witnesses. It's all very dramatic now, but some stretches of the trial will be boring and technical, maybe for days, which is also normal. And if the judge admonishes a witness or a lawyer in some way it will be because part of his job is to keep everybody on track, not let them give information to the jury that shouldn't be admitted due to relevance or prejudice, and generally ensure that the rules of evidence and court procedure are followed.

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Response to Ocelot II (Reply #10)

Tue Mar 30, 2021, 09:36 PM

11. I've testified in court and you couldn't be more right.

The real thing is way too boring to make good TV.

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Response to Ocelot II (Reply #10)

Tue Mar 30, 2021, 09:45 PM

12. I'd like a lawyer type to weigh in, but here is my read:


The statements taken by law enforcement back in May, are not in the court record nor available to the Jury. The Defense wants them in for the Jury to see because they are full of mistakes (and the contradictions make the witness seem un-trustworthy) or they might have statements that are favorable to the defendant.

The defense lawyers are trying to get the witness to acknowledge the statements as true, but can only ask if she remembers making the statement. She's caught answering yes or no. But does the Jury hear yes meaning the statements are true or that the witness simply remembers making the statements. Its just one more fucked up part of our so called Justice system.

If I were in the the witness, I'd deny remembering making the statements, by saying, "No, I don't remember". If, as this lawyer did, they pressed me to read the statements to refresh my memory, I would simply read them and then deny remembering making those statements.

The "don't remember" line was proven to be Perjury proof by Ron Reagan in Iran/Contra days of yore.

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Response to rgbecker (Reply #12)

Tue Mar 30, 2021, 09:53 PM

13. Without knowing more about this, I would think that the statements

are admissible as business or other records if they are deemed relevant (that is, more probative than prejudicial). If so, and the witness acknowledges on cross-examination that they made the statements but without being able to explain them, the prosecution can get them to elaborate and explain on redirect. Of course the defense knows this and will be careful not to ask a question on cross if he knows the witness will be asked to explain their answer on redirect. Answering "I don't know" can backfire badly, and it's not a good answer unless the witness really doesn't know. It's not fucked up at all. A good lawyer - and the prosecutors seem to be very good lawyers - understands the rules of evidence and the strategies for using them.

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Response to Ocelot II (Reply #10)

Tue Mar 30, 2021, 11:08 PM

16. I'm a lawyer and I can't stand watching a legal type show.

I yell and scream at the tv. I hate the wrong impression they give to the public. I hate it I hate it I hate it.
They also use those shows to condition the public into accepting a diminution of their rights.

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Response to Solomon (Reply #16)

Tue Mar 30, 2021, 11:20 PM

17. Sounds like my dad. TV trials drove him nuts.

And I can't remember ever seeing one that didn't have gross mistakes that would never happen IRL, but real trials tend to be kind of boring and technical and don't make dramatic TV.

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Response to ecstatic (Original post)

Tue Mar 30, 2021, 10:31 PM

14. Nope.

It is the judge's responsiblity to ensure that the court process runs according to the rules.

Several times the EMT talked over the attorneys from both sides, argued with defense counsel, and argued with the judge. She continued to argue with him as he was explaining that she is not permitted to argue with him. (That's the prosecution's role, if the judge is not acting properly.)

The judge excused the jury for the day (so they were not prejudiced by him explaining the rules to her), and then quite properly reminded her of the rules of the court.

Answer only what is asked - if there is more to be said the prosecution has the ablity to ask follow-up questions.
When you are told to stop talkng - stop talkng. Don't launch into an explanation of why you continued.

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Response to ecstatic (Original post)

Tue Mar 30, 2021, 11:26 PM

18. But... WAS she argumentative?

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