POST VERDICT TERRY TRUSSELL DISCUSSION - THE AFTERMATH

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Re: POST VERDICT TERRY TRUSSELL DISCUSSION - THE AFTERMATH

#51

Post by Reality Check » Mon Jun 13, 2016 9:19 am

I have some post trial questions esp. for the lawyer types.
  1. Why do you think the SA chose not to call any of the school board members? Was there a way to have gotten convictions on all counts without calling them? Do you think the State was willing to blow off those charges?
  2. Without helping Inger what at the likely grounds she will use for an appeal? Not allowing her to recall witnesses during the defense case that the state had called? Allowing the the two rebuttal witnesses who had been released?
  3. Judge Hankinson was really pushing to move things along. Is this normal or was it because he had seen IG in action and knew she would drag it out?
  4. How would you rate Judge Hankinson's overall conduct of the trial?
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Re: POST VERDICT TERRY TRUSSELL DISCUSSION - THE AFTERMATH

#52

Post by Paul Lentz » Mon Jun 13, 2016 9:31 am

Sterngard Friegen wrote:Paul Lentz - In Florida when the presentence report is prepared, will the person who prepares it go to interview Trussell? I'm hoping so. His mixture of arrogance and fury should leave an impression on the presentence report writer. I would hope it adds a couple of years to the recommendation.
I don't really know, Stern. In accordance with Fla.R.Crim.P 3.710, the presentence report is the responsibility of the Department of Corrections. I would think that Trussell would be interviewed. I would also think that his lengthy testimony at trial, including both biographical information and his 'version' of the crime, would also be reviewed closely by the person(s) preparing the presentence report, and any inconsistencies between testimony and interview would be noted, if not confronted.

For those who are interested, here is a link to a fairly decent, if completely generic, article about presentence reports, and their content and their uses.
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Re: POST VERDICT TERRY TRUSSELL DISCUSSION - THE AFTERMATH

#53

Post by Maybenaut » Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:03 am

Reality Check wrote:I have some post trial questions esp. for the lawyer types.
  1. Why do you think the SA chose not to call any of the school board members?
    He may not have thought it was necessary.

    Was there a way to have gotten convictions on all counts without calling them?
    Yes. The statute that TT was charged with violating specifically provides,
    (4) A person who falsely under color of law attempts in any way to influence, intimidate, harass, retaliate against, or hinder a public officer or employee involving the discharge of his or her official duties by means of, but not limited to, threats of or actual physical abuse or harassment, or through the use of simulated legal process, commits a felony of the third degree . . .


    I think there was plenty of evidence in front of the jury from which it could have convicted, even without any of the School Board members or governors or ex-governors or whomever coming in to testify that they were actually harassed or intimidated. My personal speculation is that this was a compromise verdict, and they drew the line at witness testimony.


    Do you think the State was willing to blow off those charges?
    Well, I don't think the State did blow them off, so no. I think the argument could be made that if Meggs knew that he didn't have the evidence to support the charge by the close of all the evidence, he would have been ethically obligated to withdraw the charges. (That's what I, from my defense-friendly perspective, and wearing my rose-colored glasses, would hope to see. I have no idea how often that happens in real life.) And I think the judge would have granted the defense motion for acquittal (or whatever it's called in Florida) if the government hadn't put on sufficient evidence.
  2. Without helping Inger what at the likely grounds she will use for an appeal? Not allowing her to recall witnesses during the defense case that the state had called? Allowing the the two rebuttal witnesses who had been released?
    Probably. Plus many, many more. Any time the judge rules against you there is the potential for an appellate issue. So I would be looking at every defense objection that was overruled, every government objection that was sustained, every defense motion that was denied, and every government motion that was granted to determine whether that was a potential fruitful area of appeal.
  3. Judge Hankinson was really pushing to move things along. Is this normal or was it because he had seen IG in action and knew she would drag it out?
    It's normal, I think. It appeared, to me at least, that he was very solicitous of the defense, and wanted to ensure that whatever concerns she had were adequately preserved in the record. I think he let her go on a lot longer than a lot of judges would have. YMMV.
  4. How would you rate Judge Hankinson's overall conduct of the trial?
    Fair and objective. Which is what you want in a judge, I think.
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Re: POST VERDICT TERRY TRUSSELL DISCUSSION - THE AFTERMATH

#54

Post by Paul Lentz » Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:09 am

esseff44 wrote:
He is scheduled to speak 6/28 at the Highlands Tea Party meeting at Homer's Smogasbord. Link to the their website gives you an idea of what is trending in that part of Florida Tea Party News. Terry might be out on bond and make it to the meeting. Scroll down and see the Jason Hoyt timeline of the case and also the report on the verdict. It's amazing how differently the same facts are viewed. It's too bad these folks are getting only one side of the story. I have a feeling SA Siegmeister is not going to be invited back for the next election and the Tea Party members are going to blame him for Terry's trouble and maintain Terry's innocence.
Agreed. Happily, Highlands County is not a part of the FL 3rd Judicial Circuit, so I doubt that SA Siegmeister would be all that concerned about their support in the upcoming election.

And, on that note, Jeff Siegmeister is running unopposed for reelection as the 3rd Circuit state attorney...so, he's already won (at least unofficially).
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Re: POST VERDICT TERRY TRUSSELL DISCUSSION - THE AFTERMATH

#55

Post by Slim Cognito » Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:05 am

Over at PFA, it seems poor Terry has been blown off due to the horrific events in Orlando Saturday. They're all jihad this, jihad that and Trump's da man. I even checked TT's GFundMe acct but no donations for over four months. I'd thought for sure somebody'd pitch in for the appeal.
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Re: POST VERDICT TERRY TRUSSELL DISCUSSION - THE AFTERMATH

#56

Post by Slim Cognito » Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:20 am

With all the TT threads, have we already discussed Inger's filing #517 of June 6, 2016 titled Defendant's Motion for Sanctions for Failure To Disclose Blah Blah Blah?

It's 22 pages, but I just read the first four. Scanning the rest, it looks like she's just detailing her requests.

Among other things, she's demanding (9) any "canceled checks, receipts, vouchers" generated by the promises, agreements, etc.; (13) evidence of alcohol or drug abuse by any witness the state planned to call, (14) evidence of psychiatric treatment or mental disease of any witness the state planned to call and (16) threats or orders to state witnesses not to assist Trussell.

Wow, just wow.

So what happens to this type of paperwork now that the trial is over? Is it dead in the water or are these a set-up for appeal?
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Re: POST VERDICT TERRY TRUSSELL DISCUSSION - THE AFTERMATH

#57

Post by Maybenaut » Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:25 am

Slim Cognito wrote:Among other things, she's demanding (9) any "canceled checks, receipts, vouchers" generated by the promises, agreements, etc.; (13) evidence of alcohol or drug abuse by any witness the state planned to call, (14) evidence of psychiatric treatment or mental disease of any witness the state planned to call and (16) threats or orders to state witnesses not to assist Trussell.

Wow, just wow.

So what happens to this type of paperwork now that the trial is over? Is it dead in the water or are these a set-up for appeal?
I don't know from cancelled checks, receipts or vouchers, but evidence of alcohol or drug abuse, psychiatric treatment, or threats to state witnesses not to assist the defense are all pretty normal discovery requests, in my opinion (although I'd probably include promises to state witnesses, although she may have done that elsewhere). All of these things impact the credibility of the state witnesses, and if they're true, are fruitful grounds for cross-examination.
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Re: POST VERDICT TERRY TRUSSELL DISCUSSION - THE AFTERMATH

#58

Post by Reality Check » Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:37 am

Thank you Maybenaut for the informative reply.

I chose poor wording on my question about charges 6-14. I think I should have asked if those charges were secondary to the base 1-5 charges in the State's game plan. I think the State balanced the potential benefit of pushing those by calling another nine or ten witnesses vs. extending the trial and inconveniencing the school board members. It would also have given the defense another opportunity to go after the ebil common core.
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Re: POST VERDICT TERRY TRUSSELL DISCUSSION - THE AFTERMATH

#59

Post by Maybenaut » Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:51 am

Reality Check wrote:Thank you Maybenaut for the informative reply.

I chose poor wording on my question about charges 6-14. I think I should have asked if those charges were secondary to the base 1-5 charges in the State's game plan. I think the State balanced the potential benefit of pushing those by calling another nine or ten witnesses vs. extending the trial and inconveniencing the school board members. It would also have given the defense another opportunity to go after the ebil common core.
Well, that's certainly a possibility. Mr. Meggs surely believed that he had presented enough evidence to get a conviction. I think unnecessarily calling a bunch of witnesses can backfire, and I wouldn't be surprised if that factored in to his decision.
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Re: POST VERDICT TERRY TRUSSELL DISCUSSION - THE AFTERMATH

#60

Post by Sterngard Friegen » Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:59 am

For what it's worth I think SA Meggs proved all of the facts supporting the elements of counts 6-14. I have not listened to his closing argument yet so I don't know how well he argued that. Also, I think he should have asked for a modified attempt instruction, even though there were no lesser included crimes (the primary reason to ask for an attempt instruction in Florida). The attempt itself was the offense. So "attempt" should have been defined for the jury.

That may be my only criticism of SA Meggs.

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Re: POST VERDICT TERRY TRUSSELL DISCUSSION - THE AFTERMATH

#61

Post by Slim Cognito » Mon Jun 13, 2016 12:01 pm

Maybenaut wrote:
Slim Cognito wrote:Among other things, she's demanding (9) any "canceled checks, receipts, vouchers" generated by the promises, agreements, etc.; (13) evidence of alcohol or drug abuse by any witness the state planned to call, (14) evidence of psychiatric treatment or mental disease of any witness the state planned to call and (16) threats or orders to state witnesses not to assist Trussell.

Wow, just wow.

So what happens to this type of paperwork now that the trial is over? Is it dead in the water or are these a set-up for appeal?
I don't know from cancelled checks, receipts or vouchers, but evidence of alcohol or drug abuse, psychiatric treatment, or threats to state witnesses not to assist the defense are all pretty normal discovery requests, in my opinion (although I'd probably include promises to state witnesses, although she may have done that elsewhere). All of these things impact the credibility of the state witnesses, and if they're true, are fruitful grounds for cross-examination.
That's what I love about this place. I learn something every day. My background is in the medical field and histories like that are fiercely guarded.
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Re: POST VERDICT TERRY TRUSSELL DISCUSSION - THE AFTERMATH

#62

Post by Maybenaut » Mon Jun 13, 2016 12:15 pm

Slim Cognito wrote:
Maybenaut wrote: I don't know from cancelled checks, receipts or vouchers, but evidence of alcohol or drug abuse, psychiatric treatment, or threats to state witnesses not to assist the defense are all pretty normal discovery requests, in my opinion (although I'd probably include promises to state witnesses, although she may have done that elsewhere). All of these things impact the credibility of the state witnesses, and if they're true, are fruitful grounds for cross-examination.
That's what I love about this place. I learn something every day. My background is in the medical field and histories like that are fiercely guarded.
They're fiercely guarded in the law, too, but a competent defense attorney will still ask for them, and there are processes in place to ensure that people's protected information isn't blasted out to the entire world. I don't know how this plays out in the civilian world, but in the military, the defense will make a request like the one here. If such documents exist, the government will provide them to the judge under seal. The judge will review them and decide whether they're releasable to the defense (that is, whether there is anything in the documents that the defense can use to attack the credibility of the witness). If not, they remain under seal but are made a part of the appellate record as a sealed exhibit. Then the appellate attorney has to go down to the service's Court of Criminal Appeals to review the sealed exhibit, then decide whether the judge was right in refusing to turn the docs over to the defense. If it turns out that there is an appellate issue based on the sealed documents, sometimes the Court will require the appellate attorneys to file pleadings related to it under seal, but usually not. I've gotten pretty good at drafting a pleading that makes my point without disclosing protected information in a public record. And, of course, we never, ever, ever use names in pleadings; always initials.

So your inclination that such information shouldn't and wouldn't be made public is correct, I think. But it is certainly OK for the defense to ask for it, and would think that the civilians have a similar process for keeping such information private unless and until it becomes relevant in the trial. Others may have another take.
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Re: POST VERDICT TERRY TRUSSELL DISCUSSION - THE AFTERMATH

#63

Post by Reality Check » Mon Jun 13, 2016 12:58 pm

This idea may have been previously suggested but I think the reason the jury convicted on counts 1-5 and acquitted on 6-14 was the difference in wording between the two true bills that TT filed with the clerk. The true bill filed against Jeff Siegmeister contains wording directing that a special prosecutor be appointed and that the Clerk forward the true bill to the Sheriff for the arrest of Mr. Siegmeister. The true bill filed against Mark Rains and the other school board members only recommends their arrest. I believe the jury split hairs on the difference in wording and decided that one true bill crossed the line and the other one didn't
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Re: POST VERDICT TERRY TRUSSELL DISCUSSION - THE AFTERMATH

#64

Post by Reality Check » Mon Jun 13, 2016 5:18 pm

This thread seems to be dying. Should it be merged with the main Trussell thread?
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Re: POST VERDICT TERRY TRUSSELL DISCUSSION - THE AFTERMATH

#65

Post by captcarl » Mon Jun 13, 2016 5:32 pm

I have been reading the 2014 threads and can't easily find my old posts to insure that I don't post twice or more. It's been my habit.

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Re: POST VERDICT TERRY TRUSSELL DISCUSSION - THE AFTERMATH

#66

Post by Sterngard Friegen » Mon Jun 13, 2016 5:36 pm

Reality Check wrote:This idea may have been previously suggested but I think the reason the jury convicted on counts 1-5 and acquitted on 6-14 was the difference in wording between the two true bills that TT filed with the clerk. The true bill filed against Jeff Siegmeister contains wording directing that a special prosecutor be appointed and that the Clerk forward the true bill to the Sheriff for the arrest of Mr. Siegmeister. The true bill filed against Mark Rains and the other school board members only recommends their arrest. I believe the jury split hairs on the difference in wording and decided that one true bill crossed the line and the other one didn't
It could be. But (1) it could have been a compromise verdict; (2) the other victims didn't testify; and (3) no instruction on "attempt" was given. So it could be what you suggest or any of the others or any combination thereof. A juror would have to be foolish enough to talk about the case for us to find out.

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Re: POST VERDICT TERRY TRUSSELL DISCUSSION - THE AFTERMATH

#67

Post by Reality Check » Mon Jun 13, 2016 5:52 pm

I think you are correct that an explanation of the legal meaning of "attempt" in the statute might have made a difference. If IG made a single good point in her presentation I believe it was when she pointed out that the first true bill only recommended for the arrest of the school board. I believe it might have been with one of the fake grand jurors. That testimony could have stuck with the jurors.

As you said we will never know unless a juror decides to speak out.
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Re: POST VERDICT TERRY TRUSSELL DISCUSSION - THE AFTERMATH

#68

Post by Karen Walker » Mon Jun 13, 2016 6:19 pm

Maclilly wrote:I'm going to put this here since its post trial. My observation and bugaboo in how the trial was presented by Meggs. I think Meggs should have included more info about the people's grand jury actors and their beliefs

I wish Meggs would have presented Terrys interviews bragging about the true bills and used in cross which would have blown up terrys well golly gee, we were just so frustrated, this was just a petition. Terry boasted about fliling these docs, they should have used his own words against him. :snippity:
I only joined our happy little family in the past few months so I'm late to the party.

By any chance do you have links to audio/video interviews with TT where he brags about the CLGJ and/or the filings he made?

I don't place much stock in written statements/articles by his pals purporting to quote him. I'm curious to listen to him describe his "CLGJ success" in his own words.

I'd like to hear how his story went from the greatest thing since "Jeebus & Scalia (PBUH) founded America" to "meh - it was just some locals meeting to talk about community concerns".

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Re: POST VERDICT TERRY TRUSSELL DISCUSSION - THE AFTERMATH

#69

Post by Slim Cognito » Mon Jun 13, 2016 6:37 pm

Karen Walker wrote:
Maclilly wrote:I'm going to put this here since its post trial. My observation and bugaboo in how the trial was presented by Meggs. I think Meggs should have included more info about the people's grand jury actors and their beliefs

I wish Meggs would have presented Terrys interviews bragging about the true bills and used in cross which would have blown up terrys well golly gee, we were just so frustrated, this was just a petition. Terry boasted about fliling these docs, they should have used his own words against him. :snippity:
I only joined our happy little family in the past few months so I'm late to the party.

By any chance do you have links to audio/video interviews with TT where he brags about the CLGJ and/or the filings he made?

...

I'd like to hear how his story went from the greatest thing since "Jeebus & Scalia (PBUH) founded America" to "meh - it was just some locals meeting to talk about community concerns".
The best place to start would be pg 1 of the original Terry Trussell Grand Jury Foreman thread. If you can make it through 15-20 pages of that, you'll have a good base. Then PM me with questions. I have a bunch of stuff on my computer, interviews and transcripts.
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Re: POST VERDICT TERRY TRUSSELL DISCUSSION - THE AFTERMATH

#70

Post by haatsie » Mon Jun 13, 2016 6:46 pm

Reality Check wrote:I have some post trial questions esp. for the lawyer types.
Why do you think the SA chose not to call any of the school board members? Was there a way to have gotten convictions on all counts without calling them? Do you think the State was willing to blow off those charges?
I'm new here, I've been lurking for a while. :bag:
I have an idea about why the SA didn't call on the school committee people. He was working pretty hard to keep the the trial focused on the charges and to avoid hot button topics. I.G. was trying the opposite. If the school committee had been included than common core would have been brought up; it's not a popular subject in a lot of circles. Ms G. would have wallowed in it and have had the opportunity to plant the seed in jurors minds that TT was just trying to save them, he was forced to do what he did, etc. I doubt the jury thought of the SA as the devil, so it didn't work there. But I'm willing to bet that at least some of the jurors could be convinced that common core is and it could have muddied the waters quite a bit. If that makes sense?

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Re: POST VERDICT TERRY TRUSSELL DISCUSSION - THE AFTERMATH

#71

Post by Dr. Blue » Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:25 pm

Sterngard Friegen wrote:For what it's worth I think SA Meggs proved all of the facts supporting the elements of counts 6-14. I have not listened to his closing argument yet so I don't know how well he argued that. Also, I think he should have asked for a modified attempt instruction, even though there were no lesser included crimes (the primary reason to ask for an attempt instruction in Florida). The attempt itself was the offense. So "attempt" should have been defined for the jury.

That may be my only criticism of SA Meggs.
That's "attempt to harass or threaten" or something like that, right? I have a vague memory of Trussell at some point meeting with a school board member after the filings and promising he'd have them "go easy on him" if he just cooperated. Seems like if he didn't intend to threaten the school board, why would he offer to go easy on them? That sticks out in my mind as a blatant threat, and it might have made some difference for those other charges if it had come out in trial.

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Re: POST VERDICT TERRY TRUSSELL DISCUSSION - THE AFTERMATH

#72

Post by Sterngard Friegen » Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:35 pm

Dr. Blue wrote:
Sterngard Friegen wrote:For what it's worth I think SA Meggs proved all of the facts supporting the elements of counts 6-14. I have not listened to his closing argument yet so I don't know how well he argued that. Also, I think he should have asked for a modified attempt instruction, even though there were no lesser included crimes (the primary reason to ask for an attempt instruction in Florida). The attempt itself was the offense. So "attempt" should have been defined for the jury.

That may be my only criticism of SA Meggs.
That's "attempt to harass or threaten" or something like that, right? I have a vague memory of Trussell at some point meeting with a school board member after the filings and promising he'd have them "go easy on him" if he just cooperated. Seems like if he didn't intend to threaten the school board, why would he offer to go easy on them? That sticks out in my mind as a blatant threat, and it might have made some difference for those other charges if it had come out in trial.
Trussell wanted the County and Florida to end support for Common Core. (Mostly because when you teach 'em good, they go off to college and learn stuff.) Here's that part of the statute again:
elony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(4) A person who falsely under color of law attempts in any way to influence, intimidate, harass, retaliate against, or hinder a public officer or employee involving the discharge of his or her official duties by means of, but not limited to, threats of or actual physical abuse or harassment, or through the use of simulated legal process, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

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Re: POST VERDICT TERRY TRUSSELL DISCUSSION - THE AFTERMATH

#73

Post by Maybenaut » Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:53 pm

Dr. Blue wrote:That's "attempt to harass or threaten" or something like that, right? I have a vague memory of Trussell at some point meeting with a school board member after the filings and promising he'd have them "go easy on him" if he just cooperated. Seems like if he didn't intend to threaten the school board, why would he offer to go easy on them? That sticks out in my mind as a blatant threat, and it might have made some difference for those other charges if it had come out in trial.
I think that would have helped, but I don't think it was necessary in terms of proof. I think the jury could have convicted from the fact of the [presentment/indictment/true bill - whatever you want to call it] alone. I think it would have been a reasonable inference that he would not have done it unless he was attempting to threaten or harass. I don't think anyone's testimony was necessary to prove that, but I wasn't sitting on the jury.
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Re: POST VERDICT TERRY TRUSSELL DISCUSSION - THE AFTERMATH

#74

Post by RVInit » Mon Jun 13, 2016 9:19 pm

Maybenaut wrote:
Dr. Blue wrote:That's "attempt to harass or threaten" or something like that, right? I have a vague memory of Trussell at some point meeting with a school board member after the filings and promising he'd have them "go easy on him" if he just cooperated. Seems like if he didn't intend to threaten the school board, why would he offer to go easy on them? That sticks out in my mind as a blatant threat, and it might have made some difference for those other charges if it had come out in trial.
I think that would have helped, but I don't think it was necessary in terms of proof. I think the jury could have convicted from the fact of the [presentment/indictment/true bill - whatever you want to call it] alone. I think it would have been a reasonable inference that he would not have done it unless he was attempting to threaten or harass. I don't think anyone's testimony was necessary to prove that, but I wasn't sitting on the jury.
For what it's worth I agree. Had I been on that jury I would have taken that 2nd True Bill to be a threat. It was clear to me that he meant to cause harm to them, even if it was just political harm from being able to use it as rhetoric and publicity against them. From the testimony it seemed clear to me that it becomes a public record even if it wasn't 'recorded'. I have work experience that actually helps me understand public documents and what it means to be 'recorded' vs filed. I thought the Clerk of Court did a fairly poor job of really explaining all of that to the jury. I was actually talking to my computer screen while watching her testimony, trying to will her to explain it in a way that the average person could understand it. Meggs eventually did a pretty good job of clearing it up though.
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Re: POST VERDICT TERRY TRUSSELL DISCUSSION - THE AFTERMATH

#75

Post by mimi » Mon Jun 13, 2016 9:24 pm

haatsie wrote:
Reality Check wrote:I have some post trial questions esp. for the lawyer types.
Why do you think the SA chose not to call any of the school board members? Was there a way to have gotten convictions on all counts without calling them? Do you think the State was willing to blow off those charges?
I'm new here, I've been lurking for a while. :bag:
I have an idea about why the SA didn't call on the school committee people. He was working pretty hard to keep the the trial focused on the charges and to avoid hot button topics. I.G. was trying the opposite. If the school committee had been included than common core would have been brought up; it's not a popular subject in a lot of circles. Ms G. would have wallowed in it and have had the opportunity to plant the seed in jurors minds that TT was just trying to save them, he was forced to do what he did, etc. I doubt the jury thought of the SA as the devil, so it didn't work there. But I'm willing to bet that at least some of the jurors could be convinced that common core is and it could have muddied the waters quite a bit. If that makes sense?

Well that's an interesting theory!

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