Telling The Truth Isn’t Enough.
I get it.
The “whole truth” renders the truth incomplete. It’s like a mosaic that can only be understood in its totality. Individual tiles are true parts of the whole picture, but they reveal little to nothing by themselves. All have to be arranged precisely in order to complete the whole, true meaning of the mosaic.
One purpose of a defense attorney is to create an alternate mosaic by using random “true” tiles from the genuine mosaic to complete a different “picture” that reflects his/her defense strategy.
What they can’t change is the immutable “whole truth”. They know it defines their case and thus is anathema to their narrative.
Yes, the crowd that had gathered outside of Cup Foods in Minneapolis was shocked by their witness of Officer Derek Chauvin kneeing the life out of George Floyd. All acted as good Samaritan’s who tried and tried to rescue the dying Floyd.
Some kept yelling for Chauvin to get off of Floyd’s neck, others videotaped the scene and one, Genevieve Hansen, a certified first responder-EMT, was anguished as her offers to provide life-saving CPR to Floyd were repeatedly rebuffed; moreover, she was belittled by the Minneapolis police on scene.
The truth — Genevieve Hansen was there, a witness and she was upset.
Defense Attorney Eric Nelson, trying to create a faux mosaic in the minds of jurors; a picture that officer Chauvin was being threatened by an angry mob, asked Hansen if the crowd was “angry or upset.” All he was seeking was a simple “Yes” or “No” response. The obvious answer, “Yes”, would support the “truth” of his conjured up picture of events.
The whole truth — “I don’t know if you’ve seen anybody be killed, but it’s quite upsetting,” answered Hansen.
Attorney Nelson immediately protested her unsolicited admission and Judge Peter Cahill admonished Hansen for being argumentative.
Before offering any testimony, Judge Cahill swore in Hansen. She pledged in open court to tell the truth, THE WHOLE TRUTH and nothing but the truth. She swore aloud to uphold the witness oath.
Bottom Line: A courtroom is more a stage that allows attorneys on either side to shape their version of events using fragments of whole truth than it is a solemn chamber where justice is objectively rendered from the bedrock of the “whole truth”.
No wonder the history of jury trials is replete with verdicts of “guilty” for innocent defendants, while the truly guilty are allowed to walk and prowl the streets in your neighborhood.
The trial is a show.
The lawyers and judge are the cast.
The jurors are the audience.
You and I are voyeurs.
Justice bides it’s time pacing in the wings.
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