Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Did Pamir Safi's defense counsel get the idea to persuade Lancaster County District Court Judge Cheuvront to bar the prosecution and its witnesses from using the word "rape" from an earlier case he lost (before Cheuvront bailed out altogether)? Back in 1991 attorney Clarence Mock thought defendants should be able to draw conclusions for the jury deciding a drunk driving case. Attorney Mock represented defendant Thomas Wordekemper in Cuming County Court against a drunk driving charge. The defendant tested at .135, then well over the legal limit but contended that he was veering across the driving lane to avoid puddles of water. Attorney Mock allowed the defendant to testify and his money question was: "are you guilty of the accusations that have been made against you by this prosecutor?" Defendant: No. The state objected and the court sustained the states objections. Mock appealed arguing the defendant had a constitutional right to claim his innocence including his legal conclusion that he was "not guilty." The Nebraska Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction and rejected Mock's argument: "In answering his attorney's question, the defendant could be giving an opinion concerning the existence of any or all of the elements of the crime with which he was charged..However.. the defendant should have been asked questions which either required him to testify regarding the facts or to give a lay opinion based upon his perception."04/13/93 STATE NEBRASKA v. THOMAS H. WORDEKEMPER 3 NCA 256 (1993)

No comments: