February 24, 1998The following are actual statements made during court cases: ---------- Judge: I know you, don't I? Defendant: Uh, yes. Judge: All right, tell me, how do I know you? Defendant: Judge, do I have to tell you? Judge: Of course, you might be obstructing justice not to tell me. Defendant: Okay. I was your bookie. ---------- From a defendant representing himself... Defendant: Did you get a good look at me when I stole your purse? Victim: Yes, I saw you clearly. You are the one who stole my purse. Defendant: I should have shot you while I had the chance. ---------- Judge: The charge here is theft of frozen chickens. Are you the defendant? Defendant: No, sir, I'm the guy who stole the chickens. ---------- Lawyer: How do you feel about defense attorneys? Juror: I think they should all be drowned at birth. Lawyer: Well, then, you are obviously biased for the prosecution. Juror: That's not true. I think prosecutors should be drowned at birth, too. ---------- Lawyer questioning his client on the witness stand... Plaintiff's Lawyer: What doctor treated you for the injuries you sustained while at work? Plaintiff: Dr. J. Plaintiff's Lawyer: And what kind of physician is Dr. J? Plaintiff: Well, I'm not sure, but I remember that you said he has a good plaintiff's doctor. ---------- Judge: Is there any reason you could not serve as a juror in this case? Juror: I don't want to be away from my job that long. Judge: Can't they do without you at work? Juror: Yes, but I don't want them to know it. ---------- Lawyer: Tell us about the fight. Witness: I didn't see no fight. Lawyer: Well, tell us what you did see. Witness: I went to a dance at the Turner house, and as the men swung around and changed partners, they would slap each other, and one fellow hit harder than the other one liked, and so the other one hit back and somebody pulled a knife and someone else drew a six-shooter and another guy came up with a rifle that had been hidden under a bed, and the air was filled with yelling and smoke and bullets. ---------- Lawyer: You, too, were shot in the fracas? Witness: No, sir, I was shot midway between the fracas and the navel. ---------- Defendant: Judge, I want you to appoint me another lawyer. Judge: And why is that? Defendant: Because the Public Defender isn't interested in my case. Judge (to Public Defender): Do you have any comments on the defendant's motion? Public Defender: I'm sorry, Your Honor. I wasn't listening. ---------- Judge: Please identify yourself for the record. Defendant: Colonel Ebenezer Jackson. Judge: What does the "Colonel" stand for? Defendant: Well, it's kinda like the "Honorable" in front of your name. Not a thing. ---------- Judge: You are charged with habitual drunkenness. Have you anything to say in your defense? Defendant: Habitual thirstiness?
More actual transcripts from real court cases:Q. What is your brother-in-law's name? A. Borofkin. Q. What's his first name? A. I can't remember. Q. He's been your brother-in-law for years, and you can't remember his first name? A. No. I tell you I'm too excited. (Rising from the witness chair and pointing to Mr. Borofkin.) Nathan, for Pete's sake, tell them your first name! Q. Now, Mrs. Johnson, how was your first marriage terminated? A. By death. Q. And by whose death was it terminated? Q. Doctor, did you say he was shot in the woods? A. No, I said he was shot in the lumbar region. Q. What is your name? A. Ernestine McDowell. Q. And what is your marital status? A. Fair. Q. Are you married? A. No, I'm divorced. Q. And what did your husband do before you divorced him? A. A lot of things I didn't know about. Q. And who is this person you are speaking of? A. My ex-widow said it. Q. Mrs. Smith, do you believe that you are emotionally unstable? A. I should be. Q. How many times have you committed suicide? A. Four times. Q. Were you acquainted with the defendant? A. Yes, sir. Q. Before or after he died? Q. Officer, what led you to believe the defendant was under the influence? A. Because he was argumentative and he couldn't pronunciate his words. Q. What happened then? A. He told me, he says, "I have to kill you because you can identify me." Q. Did he kill you? A. No. THE COURT: Now, as we begin, I must ask you to banish all present information from your minds, if you have any. Q. Did he pick the dog up by the ears? A. No. Q. What was he doing with the dog's ears? A. Picking them up in the air. Q. Where was the dog at this time? A. Attached to the ears. Q. When he went, had you gone and had she, if she wanted to and were able, for the time being excluding all the restraints on her not to go, gone also, would he have brought you, meaning you and she, with him to the station? MR. BROOKS: Objection. That question should be taken out and shot. Q: What is your relationship with the plaintiff? A: She is my daughter. Q: Was she your daughter on February 13, 1979? Q: Now, you have investigated other murders, have you not, where there was a victim? Q: ...and what did he do then? A: He came home, and next morning he was dead. Q: So when he woke up the next morning he was dead? Q: So, after the anesthesia, when you came out of it, what did you observe with respect to your scalp? A: I didn't see my scalp the whole time I was in the hospital. Q: It was covered? A: Yes, bandaged. Q: Then, later on.. what did you see? A: I had a skin graft. My whole buttocks and leg were removed and put on top of my head. Q: Could you see him from where you were standing? A: I could see his head. Q: And where was his head? A: Just above his shoulders. Q: Do you drink when you're on duty? A: I don't drink when I'm on duty, unless I come on duty drunk. Q: ...any suggestions as to what prevented this from being a murder trial instead of an attempted murder trial? A: The victim lived. Q: The truth of the matter is that you were not an unbiased, objective witness, isn't it. You too were shot in the whole ordeal? A: No, sir. I was shot midway between the ordeal and the naval. Q: What is the meaning of sperm being present? A: It indicates intercourse. Q: Male sperm? A. That is the only kind I know. Q: (Showing man picture.) That's you? A: Yes, sir. Q: And you were present when the picture was taken, right? Q: Was that the same nose you broke as a child? A: I have only one, you know.
Reported in the Massachusetts Bar Association Lawyers Journal, the following are questions actually asked of witnesses by attorneys during trials and, in certain cases, the responses given by insightful witnesses:
1. "Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?"
2. "The youngest son, the twenty-year old, how old is he?"
3. "Were you present when your picture was taken?"
4. "Were you alone or by yourself?"
5. "Was it you or your younger brother who was killed in the war?"
6. "Did he kill you?"
7. "How far apart were the vehicles at the time of the collision?"
8. "You were there until the time you left, is that true?"
9. "How many times have you committed suicide?"
10. Q: "So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?"A: "Yes." Q: "And what were you doing at that time?"11. Q: "She had three children, right?"A: "Yes." Q: "How many were boys?" A: "None." Q: "Were there any girls?"
12. Q: "You say the stairs went down to the basement?"A: "Yes." Q: "And these stairs, did they go up also?"
13. Q: "Mr. Slatery, you went on a rather elaborate honeymoon, didn't you?"
A: "I went to Europe, Sir." Q: "And you took your new wife?"
14. Q: "How was your first marriage terminated?"A: "By death." Q: "And by who's death was it terminated?"15. Q: "Can you describe the individual?"A: "He was about medium height and had a beard." Q: "Was this a male, or a female?"16. Q: "Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?"A: "No, this is how I dress when I go to work."17. Q: "Doctor, how many autopsies have you performed on dead people?"A: "All my autopsies are performed on dead people."18. Q: "All your responses must be oral, OK? What school did you go to?"A: "Oral."19. Q: "Do you recall the time that you examined the body?"A: "The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m.."
Q: "And Mr. Dennington was dead at the time?"
A: "No, he was sitting on the table wondering why I was doing an autopsy."20. Q: "You were not shot in the fracas?"A: "No, I was shot midway between the fracas and the navel."21. Q: "Are you qualified to give a urine sample?"A: "I have been since early childhood."
Q: "Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?" A: "No." Q: "Did you check for blood pressure?" A: "No." Q: "Did you check for breathing?" A: "No." Q: "So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?" A: "No." Q: "How can you be so sure, Doctor?" A: "Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar." Q: "But could the patient have still been alive nevertheless?" A: "It is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law somewhere."