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Jackie Borcherding Assistant District Attorney Williamson County.

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Presentation on theme: "Jackie Borcherding Assistant District Attorney Williamson County."— Presentation transcript:

1 Jackie Borcherding Assistant District Attorney Williamson County

2  Jurors: 12 people who can’t figure out how to get out of jury duty! Things actually reported by court reporters in an actual courtroom:  ATTORNEY: What is your date of birth? WITNESS: July 18th. ATTORNEY: What year? WITNESS: Every year.  ATTORNEY: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact? WITNESS: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.  ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active? WITNESS: No, I just lie there.  ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning? WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?

3  Lawyers don’t select jurors; they exercise: ◦ Challenges for Cause (unlimited)  Based on bias ◦ Peremptory Strikes (3/side for misdemeanors; 6/side for felonies)  Based on ANY reason, except discriminatory reason  Lawyers take the “leftover jurors” (6 for misdemeanors; 12 for felonies)

4  Pick a juror personality  Answer the Prosecutor’s questions  Reserve Q&A about the procedure for the end


6  How would you rate officers on a scale from: 1 to 10? ◦ Any bad experiences with officers?

7  On or about a certain date  In Williamson County, Texas  The Defendant  Intentionally, knowingly, OR recklessly  Causes bodily injury  To the Victim  By [manner & means]

8 1. Physical pain OR 2. Illness OR 3. Any physical impairment

9  Person is justified in using force against another 1. When the person believes and 2. It is reasonable that the person believes 3. The force is immediate and 4. Necessary 5. To protect the person against the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful force ◦ Verbal provocation is not enough

10  Does anyone disagree with the law?  Hypothetical: 2 UT students in 1 dorm share a bathroom; student A wants in and he’s drunk; so he walks in and yells; student B gets upset and throws soap at student A’s face, hitting his face and causing pain and redness ◦ Assault causes bodily injury? ◦ Does it matter if student A provoked student B by yelling? ◦ Does it matter if student A’s injury is not photographable? ◦ Why can’t student B claim self-defense?




14  It’s not beyond all doubt – it is OK to be less than 100% sure  A “reasonable doubt” is a doubt based on reason and common sense given the evidence presented  Do not have to believe the same piece of evidence (in order to find the Defendant guilty)  He said/ she said is not reasonable doubt… every case has conflicts ◦ Weigh credibility of witnesses ◦ If the defendant chooses to testify, weigh defendant’s credibility ◦ Signs that someone is telling the truth or lying?  Body language, demeanor, consistency of story, MOTIVE/BIAS

15 What pieces of evidence are expected in an Assault trial to prove case beyond a reasonable doubt? Direct Evidence: ◦ Witnesses? Circumstantial Evidence: (corroborates) ◦ Patrol video? ◦ 911 tape? ◦ Photos? ◦ Medical evidence?

16 Sympathy for the Defendant Defendant’s Past Effect of a Conviction Punishment Exhibits in Evidence Witness Testimony Reasonable Inferences based on the Evidence Witness Credibility Consider only what is inside the circle for guilt/innocence part of trial:

17  In this case: 0 to 365 days in the Williamson County Jail and $0 to $4000 fine…. ◦ unless the defendant is eligible for probation and the jury assesses probation  Anyone who cannot consider the full range of punishment?

18 Personal knowledge of: ◦ Attorneys or Defendant ◦ State’s Witnesses  Has anyone ever been accused of assaulting another person? ◦ Did you feel like you were unlawfully accused?  Has anyone ever been arrested, charged, or convicted of a criminal offense? ◦ When? What happened? ◦ What did you learn about the criminal justice system?  Has anyone ever sat on a criminal jury? ◦ If so, did you reach a verdict? ◦ Did the judge or the jury assess punishment?  Is there anyone who cannot sit in judgment of another?  Does anyone need to share anything else with me?

19  Which jurors do you think the prosecution would: ◦ Challenge for Cause? ◦ Exercise a Peremptory Strike Against?  What about the defense attorney?  Who has questions about ◦ Procedure ◦ Substance of the questions  Who thinks I left anything out of this presentation? ◦ Are there any questions you would not ask? ◦ What questions would you add to this presentation?

20   512-943-1696

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