Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury

Posted: July 14, 2012 in criminal justice system
Tags: , ,

by Frederick Leatherman. Note: If you are looking for an ongoing discussion about the George Zimmerman case, please go here.

Opening Statements in My Cousin Vinny

Cross posted from Frederick Leatherman Law Blog.

It’s Saturday Night

A respected criminal lawyer was delivering his summation to the jury in a missing body homicide case.

“Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury,” he said.

“In exactly 10 seconds when the clock over the door in the back of the courtroom strikes 12, the alleged victim in this case will open that door and walk into this courtroom alive and well.”

He counted down, “10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1-0”

He turned and gestured to the back door. “You can come in now,” he said.

The door did not open.

He faced the jury.

“Every one of you looked at the door and you would not have done that unless you had a reasonable doubt.”

The jury only deliberated for about 20 minutes when the foreperson sent a note out to the bailiff advising that the jury had reached a verdict.

After the jury returned to the courtroom, the foreperson handed the verdict to the bailiff, who handed it to the judge.

“Will the defendant please rise,” he said.

Then the judge read the verdict,

“We the members of the jury find the defendant Guilty of the crime of Murder in the First Degree.”

The lawyer and his client were devastated.

After the defendant was removed from the courtroom and taken to jail, the lawyer approached the foreperson and asked,

“How could y’all convict my client after every one of you looked at the door?”

“Well, we found him guilty because he was the only person in the courtroom who did not look at the door.”

Although the video is 15 minutes long, it’s rolling on the floor funny.

Check it out.


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