When last we discussed the topic, the Forums were on a different server.
It appears that sending replies to threads begun on the old server gives the new server indigestion...hence, I figured the easiest thing to do was to carryover to a new thread.
So... let me summarize.In order to defend a self-defense case successfully:The attorney must know the law.
Just a glance at the instructions in this case show you how complicated it can be.The attorney must know the facts of the case intimately.
Preparation, preparation, preparation. Investigation, interviews, checking the records of the witnesses, checking the records of the police, medical records, jail records, probable cause hearings, suppression hearings, grand jury records. Never interview without a witness (or a tape), else you have no way to prove what was originally said.The attorney must understand the physiology of fear and self-defense.
Grossman, Farnham, Siddle, Cooper, Blauer, MacYoung, Goleman, Laur, Dmitri, Quinn, Thompson, Franco, Ayoob, Canna...your attorney need not recognize all
of those names...but if he doesn't recognize any
of them, he is behind the learning curve for self-defense and will need to play considerable catch-up. Knowing these things are not enough! You still have to have some witness testify and explain it to the jury! The attorney may not testify!
(Of course, with good cross-examination....
)The attorney must know how to elicit facts from the witnesses that will aid the defense.Examplas Gratias
, in the aforementioned case I elicited:
1) that no one claimed that my client hit first (elicited through testimony from: 'victim," detective, ineffectual man, "victim's" friend);
2) that my client was knocked down repeatedly by the victim, who kept hitting her in the face ("victim," ineffectual man, "victim's" friend, client, client's friend, client's medical and jail records.
3) that my client was injured (medical records, photographs, detective, jail records, client...had the other witness shown up and testified I would have elicited that she told my investigator that she had been "afraid someone
was going to die."
(Note that she did not say that she was afraid 'victim' would die; that someone would die.
In Closing Argument I would have argued that the only reasonable inference is that she also was woried that my client might die from the ferocity of "victim's" attack....)
4) that my client was reasonably afraid that the unarmed "victim" was using deadly physical force against her (medical records, client's friend, client, detective's testimony re: adrenaline).
5) that my client had not provoked the fight with the intent to trap the "victim" with deadly physical force (All witnesses agreed that my client left the bar while "victim" was in the bathroom, if my client had intended to trap "victim" why did she absorb an unknown number of blows before using the knife, why did she not have the knife from the beginning, why did she only stab and connect 3 times in 60-300 seconds?)
6) that adrenaline will wreak havoc with time preception, fine motor control, vision, and will also enhance strenght and pain threshold (detective, client).
7) that an adrenalized opponent is dangerous until subdued, even if wounded (detective, client),
8) that "victim" did not stop fighting until she saw her own blood, despite multiple stab wounds ("victim,", "victim's friemd, ineffectual male. client).
9) that client stopped fighting immediately upon "victim's withdrawing from the fight (client, "victim," "victim's" friend; in effectual male's testimony was substantially different - so different from everyone else's that the jury simpy disregarded him entirely).
I think that we've beat this horse nearly to death now.
[This message has been edited by student (edited October 15, 2002).]