DISORDER IN THE COURT
Date: Sat, 14 Nov 92 21:05:59 PST
Subject: DISORDER IN THE COURT
Begin forwarded message:
From: dss@Eng.Sun.COM (Daniel Steinberg)
From: syoung@abeach (Susan Young)
Most language is spoken language, and most words once they are uttered, vanish
forever into the air. But such is not the case with language spoken during
courtroom trials, for there exists an army of court reporters whose job it is
to take down and preserve every statement made during the proceedings.
Court is now in session, and here are my favorite transquips, all recorded by
America's keepers of the word:
Q What is your brother-in-law's name?
Q What is his first name?
A I can't remember.
Q He's been your brother-in-law for 45 years, and you can't remember his first
A No. I tell you I'm too excited. (Rising from the witness chair and pointing
to Mr. Borofkin). Nathan, for God's sake, tell them your first name!
Q Did you stay all night with this man in New York?
A I refuse to answer that question.
Q Did you stay all night with this man in Chicago?
A I refuse to answer that question.
Q Did you ever stay all night with this man in Miami?
Q James stood back and shot Tommy Lee?
Q And then Tommy Lee pulled out his gun and shot James in the fracas?
A (After a hesitation) No sir, just above it.
Q Doctor, did you say he was shot in the woods?
A No, I said he was shot in the lumber region.
Q Now, Mrs. Johnson, how was your first marriage terminated?
A By death.
Q And, by whose death was it terminated?
Q What is your name?
A Ernestine Mc Dowell.
Q What is your marital status?
Q Are you married?
A No, I'm divorced.
Q What did your husband do before you divorced him?
A A lot of things that I didn't know about.
Q And who is this person you are speaking of?
A My ex-widow said it.
Q Do you know how far pregnant you are right now?
A I will be three months November 8th.
Q Apparently then, the date of conception was August 8th?
Q What were you and your husband doing at that time?
Q Mrs. Smith, you do believe that you are emotionally unstable?
A I used to be.
Q How many times have you committed suicide?
A Four times.
Q Did he pick the dog up by the ears?
Q What was he doing with the dog's ears?
A Picking them up in the air.
Q Where was the dog at the time?
A Attached to the ears.
Q Doctor, how many autopsies have you performed on dead people?
A All my autoppsies have been on dead people.
Q Officer, what led you to believe the defendant was under the influence?
A Because he was argumentary, and he couldn't pronunciate his words.
Q Mrs. Jones, is your appearance 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.
Q You say you're innocent, yet five people swore they saw you steal a watch.
A Your Honor, I can produce 500 people who didn't see me steal it.
Judge: Well, gentlemen of the jury, are you unanimous?
Foreman: Yes, your Honor, we're all alike -- temporarily insane.
Judge: Now, as we begin, I must ask you to banish all present information
and prejudice from your mind if you have any.
Judge: I rarely do so, but for whatever purpose it may serve, I will indicate
for the record that I approached this case with a completely open mind.
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 also, would he
have brought you, meaning you and she, with him to the station?
A MR. BROOKS. Objection. That question should be taken out and shot.
Q At the time you first saw Dr. McCarty, had you ever seen him prior to that
Q Did the lady standing in the driveway subsequently identify herself to you?
A Yes, she did.
Q Who did she say she was?
A She said she was the owner of the dog's wife.
Q Please state the location of your right foot immediately prior to impact.
A Immediately before the impact, my right foot was located at the immediate
end of my right leg.
Q Have you ever beaten your wife?
A No. I might slap her around a little, but I never beat her.
Q Just what did you do to prevent the accident?
A I closed my eyes and screamed as loud as I could.
Q And lastly, Gary, all your responses must be oral, O.K.?
Q How old are you?
© 1992 Peter Langston