JUDGE: The State may call in its next witness
DISTRICT ATTORNEY WARREN: I would like to call Dr. Jake Barnes to the stand.
Joe Barry enters the box and is sworn in-
WARREN: Dr. Jake please state your full name.
JAKE: Dr. Jacob Smith Barnes
WARREN: Thank you Dr. Barnes. Can you tell this court about our profession?
JAKE: I am a licensed forensics doctor.
WARREN: From your experience, how much time does it take for gun powder traces could remain in a person’s hand who fired a gun?
WARREN: Are you familiar with Mr. Robert Ransom?
JAKE: Yes, Attorney, he was brought to my clinic for gun powder testing on the month of August.
WARREN: Based from the results presented in this court, you decided that the result of the gun powder test is negative.
JAKE: Yes, Attorney.
WARREN: I saw in your report that there is a plus an minus sign right after the number for the result of the gun powder test, what are those?
JAKE: They are margin or errors, they indicate uncertainty in the measurement.
WARREN: Let me ask some clarification that Mr. Ransom was brought to your clinic within three weeks after he allegedly shot the victim, and there is a level of uncertainty with the result of the gun powder test?
JAKE: No, attorney. He was brought to my clinic 3 weeks and 2 days after the alleged shooting, and “Yes,” there are uncertainties in the measurement as there are on any other measurements.
WARREN: No further question, your honor.
Second Part (Defense Witness: Juliet)
JUDGE: The Defense may call in its next witness
DEFENSE: I would like to call Juliet Osmond to the stand
Juliet Osmond enters the box and is sworn in-
DEFENSE: Please state your name and profession.
JULIET: Juliet Marie Brown Osmond, Psychologist Student, I am not employed yet Attorney.
DEFENSE: Thank you. What is your relationship with Mr. Ransom?
JULIET: He is my neighbor.
DEFENSE: How long had you been neighbors with Mr. Ransom?
JULIET: Around 10 years
DEFENSE: How many times do you see each other?
JULIET: We see each other everyday
DEFENSE: Would you say you know Mr. Ransom personally?
JULIET: Yes attorney.
DEFENSE: How would you describe his relationship with you?
JULIET: He is a god friend to me.
DEFENSE: When you say he is a good friend, do you exchange personal details like activities in your conversations?
DEFENSE: Has he ever mentioned to you about his job?
DEFENSE: What do you know about his job?
JULIET: That he is working in an office as an employee.
DEFENSE: Did it ever occur to you that his job is suspicious?
JULIET: His work hours are normal, he dresses respectably and greets everyone nicely.
DEFENSE: No further questions, your honor.
JUDGE: Will the State conduct a cross?
Reply 1: The Defense may now do the cross examination for BARRY
DEFENSE: Mr. Barry you said that fight scenes in the bar are usual occurrences, right?
DEFENSE: Are you aware that Robert Ransom is being tried for murder?
DEFENSE: Based from your experience, how many of the fights that you have encountered resulted in to murder?
BARRY: None, attorney.
DEFENSE: No further questions.
Note that this is a slippery slope, which is a weak argument. The defense is simply arguing that since Barry has not encountered any murder which resulted from bar fights, then it is impossible or at least less likely that Robert Ransom could have committed murder due to the bar fight which he had been into. The argument sounds strong, however, due to fact that it goes in direct opposition to the idea set by the State attorney that the fight inside the bar is a enough reason for Robert to commit murder or Larkin.
Reply 2: The cross examination of LARUE
WARREN: Miss Larue was there ever a report that something was stolen in your unit in the apartment?
LARUE: None, attorney.
WARREN: Therefore, nothing is missing in your apartment, because there was not a burglary, am I right?
LARUE: Yes attorney, there was nothing missing and there was no burglary as far as I know.
WARREN: Do you know that Robert Ransom has a gun?
WARREN: No further questions.
This is an example of begging the question. What WARREN is simply saying, is that there is no nothing stolen because there is no burglary. It, however, sounds strong because it masks the fact that there could have been a burglary at the apartment unit where Robert was staying with Larue.
Reply 3: The cross examination of POLETTI
DEFENSE: Mr. Poletti, do you own a car?
POLETTI: No, I don’t own a car.
DEFENSE: Do you know people, aside from Robert Ransom, who own cars?
POLETTI: Yes, many.
DEFENSE: Do you think the people you know allow other people to ride their car, even once?
DEFENSE: How many of the people you know do this?
POLETTI: All of them.
DEFENSE: No further questions.
This is an example of dilemma. The defense attorney is implying that Robert’s car was certainly used by anybody, because everybody who owns a car allows somebody to use them. In other words, the defense attorney is limiting the options for car owners – they all let somebody barrow or ride their car.
Reply 4: The cross examination of Starr
WARREN: Ms. Starr, have you encountered a murder before?
WARREN: Have you had any association with psychologists?
WARREN: Have you had any psychology classes?
STARR: None, attorney.
WARREN: Then you don’t know how a murderer looks like and how to assess way of thinking, am I right?
STARR: As a professional psychologist, I must admit that I don’t have that knowledge and skill.
WARREN: So when you said that the claims of murder crime against Robert Brown are ridiculous because, “No true charitable person would ever commit these kinds of crimes. Mr. Ransom is a kind, generous person, and always has been,” is based not on your knowledge in psychology neither based from your experiences, am I right?
STARR: No, your honor, what I mean is that I just feel that he cannot do such a thing.
WARREN: Then your real basis is your feeling – your gut feeling – is that what you are saying, Miss Star?
STARR: Yes, attorney.
This is, again, an example of begging the question. Note that the witness was not an expert witness, and he was testifying based on opinion. What attorney WARREN was pointing out is that the opinion given by the witness is an opinion. It sounded strong, however, because it can lead someone to think that Starr was simply being biased.