Unformatted text preview: uries for thirty years. He was friendly and smooth and gave the impression that you could discuss almost anything with him, even in open court. He moved slowly into the area of intimidation. Has anyone outside your family contacted you about this case? A stranger? Has a friend tried to influence your opinion? Your summons was mailed to you; the jury list is locked under seal. No one is supposed to know that you're a potential juror. Has anyone mentioned it to you? Anyone threatened you? Anyone offered you anything? The courtroom was very quiet as Ernie led them through these questions. No one raised a hand; none was expected. But Ernie was successful in conveying the message that these people, the Padgitts, had been moving through the shadows of Ford County. He hung an even darker cloud above them, and he left the impression that he, as the District Attorney and the people's lawyer, knew the truth. He began his finish with a question that cut through the air like a rifle shot. "Do all of you folks understand that jury tampering is a crime?" They seemed to understand. "And that I, as the prosecutor, will pursue, indict, bring to trial, and do my utmost to convict any person involved with jury tampering. Do you understand this?" When Ernie finished we all felt as though we'd been tampered with. Anyone who'd talked about the case, which of course was every person in the county, seemed in danger of being indicted by Ernie and Generated by ABC Amber LIT Converter, http://www.processtext.com/abclit.html hounded to the grave. "He's effective," whispered the reporter from Tupelo. Lucien Wilbanks began with a lengthy and quite dull lecture about the presumption of innocence and how it is the foundation of American jurisprudence. Regardless of what they'd read in the local newspaper, and here he managed a scornful glance in my general direction, his client, sitting right there at the moment, was an innocent man. And if anyone felt otherwise, then he or she was duty bound to raise a hand and...
View Full Document
This note was uploaded on 07/18/2010 for the course LIT 301 taught by Professor Dra during the Spring '10 term at American College of Computer & Information Sciences.
- Spring '10