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Talking out of Turn

Ma’am, isn’t it true you had been drinking that day? (The complaining witness was kind of on my side at this point.)

Yes.

And in fact, you were a little tipsy?

Yes.

A little, intoxicated.

Yes.

Maybe highly intoxicated. (And I heard a murmur from the jury box.)

Yes.

In fact, you were sloshed. (And I looked at the juror in the front row. A local woman, maybe early forties. Working mother if I’m not mistaken, and louder I heard her whisper a particular word.)

Yes.

In fact, you were kind of drunk. (And this woman says the same word louder. Now you’re not really supposed to talk as a juror. It’s not like everyone gets to join in. Some attorneys go their whole career without a juror jumping in and trying to help them in their job.)

Yes.

In fact, you were blitzed. (And now I swear she’s almost yelling the word. It’s a little uncomfortable. I’m looking at the prosecutor and bailiff, but maybe because I’m standing about a foot and a half away, and it’s SO silent otherwise, maybe that’s why it resonates in my mind.)

Yes.

Now, here’s where my memory plays tricks on me. I know for a fact what I remember the word being. But I also know for a fact it absolutely was not that word, even though I cannot imagine what the word actually was. When I try to remember what it actually was, this is the word I remember, but logically looking back it couldn’t have been this remembered word. So with that forewarning, let me tell you my memory tells me the word she had been saying was:

“Sh__faced!”

So with my best Perry Mason finger-point, I ask the witness:

Isn’t it true you to borrow a word (I turn and look at the juror. We exchange smiles) were Sh__tfaced!!!!

And the witness, friendly and having seen all of this, leans forward in her witness chair, and entirely too loud into the microphone answers: OH YEAH!

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