Branch and Area

I was sent from my branch office to an area office, like going from the provinces to the capital, for my fourth trial.  I was happy to be there, several people from my training class were assigned as prosecutors there, and a couple of other people that I really liked.  Trial took about a week.  I put on two witnesses and used two exhibits, an audio file and some pictures.  As part of my ongoing self-criticism project, I think there are some things that I could have done better.  I could have done a little investigation into the case and maybe found some more witnesses.  That would have helped corroborate my existing evidence.  One of the jurors even said as much after they jury hung.  I could have prepped a little more in advance.  I could have used 911 call documentation to find another key witness that I didn’t have.  I didn’t go to the scene.  I could have prepared my opening and closing farther in advance.

During my rebuttal argument I also was playing with fire a bit.  I know from our training materials that prosecutors often commit error during argument.  I argued the failure to call logical witnesses, which is close to commenting on the defendant’s failure to testify, a clear error.  After the trial a supervisor suggested that I not do that unless the defense puts on some kind of a case (any kind of case).  I also took a risk during my rebuttal argument by injecting some emotion and feeling into my argument in response to the suggestion that I should just let this case drop because there were no prior incidents.

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