Friday, January 11, 2008

Guest Entry: The Witness's Mind by donchais

Jensen Murder Trial Musings…The Witness’s Mind, by donchais

January 11, 2008
Yesterday, we finished up Nehring, Jensen’s co-worker and onetime friend. Nehring knew Jensen at Prudential between ’90-’91 and then they both went to Baird. Spoke frequently...personal and business until Julie died.

Comes off credible. When defense refers back to his August 2007 testimony, they say he has changed his testimony, today. He responds, I have rethought and this is what I meant. More on this later!

Therese DeFazio is called next Therese DeFazio is a third-grade teacher at Southport Elementary School, DeFazio taught Mark and Julie Jensen’s oldest son, David.

Again, she is very credible. Defense takes the same tact of referring to her 2007 testimony and trying to say she is now changing her original testimony. More on this later!

I really have no previous knowledge of this case and have come into the proceedings with what I thought was an open mind.

There are several issues that make watching and following this trial difficult, least of which is the fact that Julie Jensen died December 3rd, 1998.

Also, between the preliminary and forfeiture hearings, there are thousands of pages of testimony. Many of the objections raised bring about discussions of previous testimony of other witnesses we have yet to see take the stand. Attorney comments such as, “we know the detective lied”, “we know that he changed his story”, make it difficult not to form an opinion prior to hearing current testimony.

Both the prosecution and defense are doing what they get paid to do. The direct, cross, re-direct, re-cross, re-re-direct, re-re-cross is a bit much though. So much rehash must be getting annoying and confusing to the jury!

As to whether or not witnesses are changing their testimony from the summer of ’07 and earlier, remember when I said, “More on this later”? Here goes…

Unless you are a professional witness, it is very nerve- racking to give testimony. Especially, if you do not want to be involved, but have been subpoenaed.

I’ve been deposed and had to take the stand at a civil trial. The trial started some 10 1/2 months after my deposition. I received a copy of the deposition approximately seven months after the deposition was taken.

Reviewing the deposition taught me that I wished I had been clearer or elaborated more on some of my responses. As truthful and succinct as you try to be, it is obvious (to me) that your response to a question can certainly be “twisted” to mean something you never intended.

On the stand, your answers and recollections can become even more convoluted. Hence, why we are hearing so much of, “so, you are now saying your original testimony was wrong?” And, “no, what I meant in my response was…”

Furthermore, your interpretation of the questions asked and your perception of what you thought you were responding to can be very divergent.

One of the first things you learn in a Communications course is that in every conversation (or testimony) there is a “projector” and a “receiver." I, as a “projector," know exactly what I mean when I speak. You, as the “receiver” may hear what I said as something totally different than what I intended. Now, take into consideration we have a sub-receiver…the jury!

What I have observed so far is the defense taking the witnesses to task, for their recollections and memories, lo these many years! Where is it all going? Well, reasonable doubt is why they get paid the big bucks.

I suspect this is going to be a very, very long trial.

Thank you very much donchais!