This poor jury! I feel like I am watching a Perry Mason marathon. One attorney tries to slide a slick move in, knowing darned good and well it is not allowed, but just to plant a seed in the mind of the jury, then oops, the beans have been spilled. So the Judge gets to instruct the jury, “I want you to disregard what you just heard.” I can just hear Juror # so-and-so’s mind thinking, “Really? Well, I already heard it. How can I unheard it? “
You see, there is a great likelihood the jurors do not know they were not supposed to hear what was said. They probably do not know the attorney who said it probably did know he was not supposed to say it. I have served on a jury trial. I did not know all the rules. I mostly recall the attorney for the State making his closing remarks. He was still wet behind the ears, and it seemed more like he was trying out for a role in an upcoming movie than sharing the facts with us. The lawyer representing the defendant was older, more seasoned and left all the stage presence to the young whipper snapper. It worked. We returned with a verdict of “not guilty,” and that was only a half day. These poor souls seated on the Anthony jury are sequestered from society and their families. The judge is doing all within his power to give them the utmost consideration for their inconvenience. Let’s face it—they are not making mega-bucks for their “service” to society. Nobody’s getting rich—well, okay, maybe an attorney or two.
I am not a lawyer. I cannot and will not dispense legal advice. You see, that’s illegal. I have, however, worked for attorneys more than one-third of my life, and you do tend to pick up bits and pieces after that length of time. To see the immature bickering back and forth among counsel is disappointing at best. They wonder why there are so many jokes told on a daily basis about lawyers? Please let me reassure you, we have countless attorneys practicing law with great character and integrity on a consistent basis, and I have the highest regard for them. I can testify to that as a fact—I know many who fill that bill.
So, as for the Anthony trial, Counsel, could I have your attention please? Now would be a really great time to seize the opportunity to conduct yourselves like the professionals you said you would be when you took that Oath. Remember, back when you passed the Bar exam and decided you wanted to be an attorney? Was it for the money, the celebrity status, or was it to truly serve the public? It goes something like this:The oath taken by Florida lawyers is as follows: “I do solemnly swear: “I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Florida; “I will maintain the respect due to courts of justice and judicial officers; “I will not counsel or maintain any suit or proceedings which shall appear to me to be unjust, nor any defense except such as I believe to be honestly debatable under the law of the land; “I will employ for the purpose of maintaining the causes confided to me such means only as are consistent with truth and honor, and will never seek to mislead the judge or jury by any artifice or false statement of fact or law; “I will maintain the confidence and preserve inviolate the secrets of my clients, and will accept no compensation in connection with their business except from them or with their knowledge and approval; “I will abstain from all offensive personality and advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or reputation of a party or witness, unless required by the justice of the cause with which I am charged; “I will never reject, from any consideration personal to myself, the cause of the defenseless or oppressed, or delay anyone’s cause for lucre or malice. So help me God.”
Let’s face it. Just being in the position of Prosecutor or Defense for the accused will put many feathers in your caps. Please do it with decorum and professionalism. You see, whatever anyone’s stance is, there is a young woman on trial for the murder of her 2-year-old daughter. That, in and of itself, should motivate everyone involved to follow the rules of procedure and the rules of the Court. It’s just a thought…Listen to Carolyn’s interview with Cynthia Brennen, on “Help, Hope & Healing.” Visit her Everyday Health blog, Emotional Wellbeing, or her website at orangeblossomwishes.com.