23 September 2010

It has been an interesting week. Two trials scheduled this week and two finished. The first trial was in Guthrie County with Mary Benton, the Guthrie County Attorney prosecuting. The charge was felony in possession of a firearm. Judge Husher presided. It was an interesting case. Judge Husher gave my requested instruction that an antique firearm is not a firearm for purposes of the statute, but the State relied on the argument that the muzzle loader in question was not a replica which would be covered under the definition of antique firearm. She apparently convinced the jury and there would have been a conviction but for the fact that one juror refused to convict. He must have been one of those fellows that believe we all have the right to bear firearms. So it was a hung jury 11 to 1 and the County Attorney immediately requested a new trial date which will occur in November. What I need to do now is to establish that a muzzle loader, regardless of its technological improvements, is in fact a replica.

I am always stricken by the fact of the prosecutor taking a loss or a hung jury so badly. It seems in such cases that the prosecutor has some personal interest in insuring that a person go to jail or be convicted of some crime. They seem to take it much more personally that the defense attorneys when the defense attorney has much more to loose. The prosecutor's client doesn't go to jail. This was the case in Guthrie County.

The second trial was today and it was a driving while revoked charge. You may ask why I would try such a thing. Two reasons: First the defendant and two witnesses were to testify that the defendant was not driving the three-wheeler she, according to the deputy, admitted driving. Secondly, the State did not have in its minutes of testimony any co-oberation of the defendant's out-of-court statements. The deputy testified and a motion for a directed verdict was granted. Judge Mott prior to the trial beginning sustained a motion in limine asking the description of the girl riding the three-wheeler from an unidentified party not be allowed into evidence. We were finished by 10:30. Short and sweet.

The quick verdict gave me time to attend the arraignment of my federal client at 2:00 p. m. Seven out of 14 co-defendant's were arraigned.I was required to take my belt off to get into the federal courthouse. This is bull shit.Defense attorneys apparently now have to disrobe to get into the courthouse to defend our clients. I must be mistaken, I thought we were officers of the court.

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