Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Cameron Brown 3rd Trial - Day 4 Voir Dir

Memorial for Lauren Sarene Key, on a bluff 
overlooking the area of Inspiration Point.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015
9:15 AM
I get inside Dept. 107 midway between Judge Lomeli's rulings on the prosecution's motion to exclude testimony of prior defense witnesses.  The defense filed a opposition motion to include most of the witness on the prosecution's motion. In brief, Judge Lomeli grants the prosecution's motion. With regards to Dr. Karim, he can only testify in generalities. He cannot testify that the defendant was exhibiting or exheriencing disassociation since he did not examine the witness.

Brown filled out a formal complaint, that when he came back to his cell, the lower bunk of his cell was covered in urine. Requesting that video be preserved. The bailiff explains that he told the defendant to give it one day. The review is with a Sargent (?), and that part of that review will be a review of the video.

Mr. Laub advised about defense witness.

Laub will talk with investigator as to who has been contacted by him. 

We are waiting on a late juror.

 We have a group of students in the bench seats behind the bailiffs desk. Judge Lomeli asks them what school they are going to.  The bailiff, wanting to move the students away from the long gallery benches, seats them in the benches behind the bailiff. He brings me a comfortable chair from the gallery so that I can sit away from the jurors.

The judge asks that the late juror be brought in. The juror thought that they were to return at 10am instead of 9:30am.
9:58 AM

The jury files in.

Several of the law students leave.

Laub inquires.
Experts will be testifying in this case. Sometimes experts have biases.

One juror is excused for cause. He brings up over and over again what he read in the press.

Hum speaks to the jurors next.

One juror is asking about the circumstantial evidence example. If you don't have direct evidence, it seems that, I guess that I have reasonable doubt how it would be easy to render a verdict.

Judge asks the juror if they knows the definition of reasonable doubt. The juror asks for the definition. Now the juror is rambling off on a tangent about a perfect storm. Hum asks, are you now telling us you think you are more biased for the defense.

Now we get to the peremptory strikes. The prosecution excuses #12. The defense accepts the panel.
The prosecution excuses juror #7. Defense excuses juror #8.  People excuse juror #11.  Defense excuses #8. People excuse #12  Defense excuse #12.  People accept the panel.  We are waiting on Mr. Laub.

A juror has a question. I did post that I had prior prepaid vacation. Now won't allow juror to get off. If I would hold animosity. I feel I can't explain it. I can feel that it is getting closer. I'm a bit more hesitant now.

Mr. Laub excuses the juror. Lomeli addresses the juror. See? You got what you wanted.

The court asks that Mr. Laub not take a long time with these things.

People accept the panel. Defense excuses #4. Peremptory is with people. People accept the panel.
Defense. The court asks Mr. Laub for a response. Defense accepts the panel.  Court calls for a sidebar with counsel.

The court asks to speak to juror #5. Number five is brought up to the side bar. The court is asking questions. This is a juror that might have an issue with not getting paid for jury service. I believe they are trying to straighten that out.

Still at sidebar trying to determine if the juror gets paid for jury service or not.  Jurors in the gallery fidget. The juror is excused.

Another juror takes seat #5.  The people accept the panel. The judge asks Mr. Laub again. The defense accepts the panel.

The jurors are sworn in. Judge Lomeli explains that they will get a notepad. Now explains opening statements.

10:51 AM
More juror numbers are called to fill the 12 seats in front of the jury box.

DDA Hum asks for a sidebar.  Judge Lomeli responds, "Again?"  #17 is called to the sidebar. The juror is excused and another juror is called.

Initial questioning of this group of jurors by the court. One juror works for a justice in another courthouse. One juror works in social services for children. One potential juror works for his church in a legal capacity.  This juror would tend to believe law enforcement personnel and would not believe anything that comes from a psychiatrist. Believes psychiatry is junk. The juror is excused.

Juror #14 asks for a sidebar to answer one of the court's questions about, I believe, interaction with law enforcement.

Laub gets five minutes to inquire of this group of jurors. He asks a juror about what he stated on his questionnaire, and a father's responsibilities. Is it your belief, that it's no way, this could be an accident. From his own experience, he always keeps an eye on his kids. Being in a forest, those kinds of places. As a father, he's always to protect the child.

One juror on their form indicated that they were biased. They worked with children's services for 25 years.

DDA Hum.
Asks if the one juror working for Children and Family Services if she does investigations and if she has nieces and nephews. Now more questions for the jurors if they have any contact with with children.  Hum asks a juror who works in family law about her emotional feelings about being on this case, in relation to her family law experience.

Judge will see counsel at sidebar. Four jurors numbers are read out and selected as alternates.  All men.

We have a panel.

I tend to scheduled witnesses as they were in the prior trial and the pacing will be roughly the same as before. Wanted the court to be aware. Hum gave a witness list to the defense, but has not made any guarantee that those witnesses would be available.

Court asks if there are witnesses they are not calling from prior trials. Hum states there are, but they are not on the witness list.

Off the record, Court asks Mr. Laub to remind him about the time he needs to leave eary for court.  Thursday will be a short day.

And that's it.


David In TN said...

Thanks for giving us a look at Voir Dire.

Sprocket said...

It's interesting. Every judge does voir dire a bit differently.

Judge Lomeli told counsel that they would be able to pick a jury in two days (after pre-screening for health, vacation, work, etc.). I didn't think it would happen but they did it in a day and a half.

His method is much faster. The court did a lot of the initial questioning and the attorneys asked questions of the group. Those who did have an issue that they asked about, raised their hands. Sometimes, the attorneys used the questionnaires as a guide.

At the end, DDA Hum was asking jurors that didn't have children, if they had experience being around children. Most answered yes, that they had nieces or nephews, or friends with children.

I remember from the last trial when the jury hung, a few of the jurors spoke with the media on the plaza. One of the older, black jurors told Sarah, mother of Lauren, "The young kids [on the jury] didn't get it."

I took from that, that the jury was split between the much younger jurors and the older jurors, and the younger jurors voted for involuntary.

David In TN said...

I've been called for jury duty only once in my life. As it happened, I was in the process of going to a new job and told the judge my personal situation just didn't allow the time.

I was excused.

Gregg the Obscure said...

I just can't thank you enough for your terrific coverage of this case!