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When a defendant doesn't testify, does that sway you juuuust a liiiiitle against him?
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: June 20, 2012 03:18PM
It does me. It's similar to someone taking "The 5th." Does anyone disagree?
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Re: When a defendant doesn't testify, does that sway you juuuust a liiiiitle against him?
Posted by: Pam
Date: June 20, 2012 03:28PM
I do. At first glance you'd want them to testify, but evidence should be able to do all of the talking.

If you're thinking of Sandusky, I don't care how well he was coached. His attorney's would be nuts to put him on the stand.
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Re: When a defendant doesn't testify, does that sway you juuuust a liiiiitle against him?
Posted by: $tevie
Date: June 20, 2012 03:31PM
I agree with Pam. That interview last November proved Sandusky is incapable of speaking without making himself look worse and worse. And we didn't even get to hear the best parts.

[www.youtube.com]



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Re: When a defendant doesn't testify, does that sway you juuuust a liiiiitle against him?
Posted by: davester
Date: June 20, 2012 04:14PM
I don't think it should be a consideration at all, and if it is then I would not want to see you on a jury. Some people come off very poorly on the stand even though they're innocent. A trial should be based on evidence, not emotions, and the testimony of a defendant in many cases won't add anything to the proceedings other than an "I didn't do it" statement.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/20/2012 04:14PM by davester.
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Re: When a defendant doesn't testify, does that sway you juuuust a liiiiitle against him?
Posted by: Acer
Date: June 20, 2012 04:36PM
Seems to me I've read where the accused taking the stand is not nearly as common as it is in film and TV.
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Re: When a defendant doesn't testify, does that sway you juuuust a liiiiitle against him?
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: June 20, 2012 05:05PM
Quote
Acer
Seems to me I've read where the accused taking the stand is not nearly as common as it is in film and TV.


True.

Fifth Amendment. A cornerstone of our criminal justice system.

Defendants can't be forced to testify, and most choose not to do so. You also can't be stopped from testifying even if your attorney suggests it's a terrible idea and doesn't want you to.
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Re: When a defendant doesn't testify, does that sway you juuuust a liiiiitle against him?
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: June 20, 2012 05:16PM
Quote
davester
I don't think it should be a consideration at all, and if it is then I would not want to see you on a jury. Some people come off very poorly on the stand even though they're innocent. A trial should be based on evidence, not emotions, and the testimony of a defendant in many cases won't add anything to the proceedings other than an "I didn't do it" statement.

You're right. I'm wrong for doing it. That's why I asked the question. I wondered if anyone else did it and would admit it. I think I could make a good decision, but it would affect me similar to hearing something possibly incriminating and having the judge order me to ignore it.
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Re: When a defendant doesn't testify, does that sway you juuuust a liiiiitle against him?
Posted by: Uncle Wig
Date: June 20, 2012 05:17PM
Talk of the Nation had a good discussion about this topic today:

[www.npr.org]



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Re: When a defendant doesn't testify, does that sway you juuuust a liiiiitle against him?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: June 20, 2012 11:00PM
Me ? Yeah.
The Law ? Better not.
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Re: When a defendant doesn't testify, does that sway you juuuust a liiiiitle against him?
Posted by: Black
Date: June 20, 2012 11:08PM
The way to plead the fifth without having everyone immediately assume you must be guilty is to loudly recite Koran passages to the extent that the judge allows. Or at least rock back and forth,.




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Re: When a defendant doesn't testify, does that sway you juuuust a liiiiitle against him?
Posted by: lafinfil
Date: June 20, 2012 11:42PM
On the advice of council, I respectfully decline to answer the question.



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Re: When a defendant doesn't testify, does that sway you juuuust a liiiiitle against him?
Posted by: RgrF
Date: June 21, 2012 01:50AM
Quote
Dennis S
Quote
davester
I don't think it should be a consideration at all, and if it is then I would not want to see you on a jury. Some people come off very poorly on the stand even though they're innocent. A trial should be based on evidence, not emotions, and the testimony of a defendant in many cases won't add anything to the proceedings other than an "I didn't do it" statement.

You're right. I'm wrong for doing it. That's why I asked the question. I wondered if anyone else did it and would admit it. I think I could make a good decision, but it would affect me similar to hearing something possibly incriminating and having the judge order me to ignore it.

The distance between what you know you should do and what you do is almost never small. It's like being asked told to ignore what you just heard being akin to you can't unsee something.

Ability to recognize and sublimate what you heard but should not have is the key. It takes a discipline I'm not sure I have. On the other hand you have a greater probability of wasting time and if finally called deciding why somebody didn't pay their rent or parking/speeding/stop sign ticket.
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Re: When a defendant doesn't testify, does that sway you juuuust a liiiiitle against him?
Posted by: Black
Date: June 21, 2012 07:27AM
Quote
Dennis S
Quote
davester
I don't think it should be a consideration at all, and if it is then I would not want to see you on a jury. Some people come off very poorly on the stand even though they're innocent. A trial should be based on evidence, not emotions, and the testimony of a defendant in many cases won't add anything to the proceedings other than an "I didn't do it" statement.

You're right. I'm wrong for doing it. That's why I asked the question. I wondered if anyone else did it and would admit it. I think I could make a good decision, but it would affect me similar to hearing something possibly incriminating and having the judge order me to ignore it.

As far as I'm concerned, all jurors are liars, since once you've answered "yes" to the question of whether you can be 100% fair and impartial, you're FOS in my book. It's not humanly possible.




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Re: When a defendant doesn't testify, does that sway you juuuust a liiiiitle against him?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: June 21, 2012 10:52AM
Black.. good point. I think the judge got annoyed with me when I responded "I'll do my best, your Honor". I then explained that I was an engineer, and knew that there were no absolutes in life. He snickered briefly, and made me an alternate.
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Re: When a defendant doesn't testify, does that sway you juuuust a liiiiitle against him?
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: June 21, 2012 11:19AM
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Re: When a defendant doesn't testify, does that sway you juuuust a liiiiitle against him?
Posted by: decay
Date: June 21, 2012 01:18PM
since courtroom proceedings are a big game, you have to play the game.

morals don't count in the courtroom, unless you're perjuring yourself.



---
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Re: When a defendant doesn't testify, does that sway you juuuust a liiiiitle against him?
Posted by: Kiva
Date: June 21, 2012 01:26PM
Quote
Uncle Wig
Talk of the Nation had a good discussion about this topic today:

[www.npr.org]

I was going to reference that as well. Some well-informed callers / attorneys, etc. weighing in..

there was one attorney that said, in all his experience, it NEVER helps the client. Even if they are innocent, it doesn't go well...



----------------------
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Re: When a defendant doesn't testify, does that sway you juuuust a liiiiitle against him?
Posted by: J Marston
Date: June 21, 2012 03:55PM
Quote
Cbelt3
...There were no absolutes in life...."

The statement is an absolute.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/21/2012 03:56PM by J Marston.
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Re: When a defendant doesn't testify, does that sway you juuuust a liiiiitle against him?
Posted by: $tevie
Date: June 21, 2012 04:51PM
Oh, God, this is the last straw. What a freak.

Quote

Lawyers: Sandusky's adopted son says he was abused

Matt Sandusky, an adopted son of Jerry Sandusky, said through his attorney Thursday that he was also a victim of the former coach's sexual abuse, adding that he had been prepared to testify for the prosecution.

"At Matt's request, we immediately arranged a meeting between him and the prosecutors and investigators," attorneys Andrew Shubin and Justine Andronici said in a statement. "This has been an extremely painful experience for Matt and he has asked us to convey his request that the media respect his privacy."

The child rape case against Sandusky, who faces accusations of sexual abuse involving 10 alleged victims, is now wrapping up and is in the hands of a jury.
[www.wbaltv.com]



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Re: When a defendant doesn't testify, does that sway you juuuust a liiiiitle against him?
Posted by: davester
Date: June 21, 2012 07:35PM
Quote
Black
As far as I'm concerned, all jurors are liars, since once you've answered "yes" to the question of whether you can be 100% fair and impartial, you're FOS in my book. It's not humanly possible.

I don't recall them phrasing the question that way. I believe that the judge only asks whether you feel that you can be fair and impartial in judging the defendant. That's a perfectly legitimate question to which many people can legitimately say "yes".



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: When a defendant doesn't testify, does that sway you juuuust a liiiiitle against him?
Posted by: Gutenberg
Date: June 21, 2012 07:50PM
Here's my question. Why didn't Matt Sandusky testify?
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Re: When a defendant doesn't testify, does that sway you juuuust a liiiiitle against him?
Posted by: lafinfil
Date: June 21, 2012 08:11PM
Quote
Gutenberg
Here's my question. Why didn't Matt Sandusky testify?

No real reason given but there is always speculation. He did not contact prosecutors until trial was already underway so it may have been the logistics of investigating his charges while the trial was underway. One report said that the defense team knew of the allegations and that was why they did not put Jerry S. on the stand. The prosecution may have felt they already had a strong case and was saving Matt the agony, or as a back up for further charges if Jerry walks.



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Re: When a defendant doesn't testify, does that sway you juuuust a liiiiitle against him?
Posted by: Black
Date: June 21, 2012 10:44PM
Quote
davester
Quote
Black
As far as I'm concerned, all jurors are liars, since once you've answered "yes" to the question of whether you can be 100% fair and impartial, you're FOS in my book. It's not humanly possible.

I don't recall them phrasing the question that way. I believe that the judge only asks whether you feel that you can be fair and impartial in judging the defendant. That's a perfectly legitimate question to which many people can legitimately say "yes".

When I went through jury selection it was phrased exactly that way.




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Re: When a defendant doesn't testify, does that sway you juuuust a liiiiitle against him?
Posted by: Black
Date: June 21, 2012 10:45PM
Quote
Gutenberg
Here's my question. Why didn't Matt Sandusky testify?

Explained adequately here:
[news.yahoo.com]




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