I have a great chance for the listeners of the Criminal Nuggets Podcast to be on the podcast! Let me explain.
Have you heard the line of closing argument where a prosecutor tells a jury that they won't be given a jury instruction defining “proof beyond a reasonable doubt?”
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
The whole bit went something like this:
Ladies and gentle men of the jury…
When you get back there to start deliberating you will notice that you won't have a jury instruction further defining the term “beyond a reasonable doubt”.
Don't even look for something like that because it is not there.
The law presupposes that you are capable of coming up with a verdict by relying on each other and without the aid of any other instruction on that matter.
What I will tell you …
Is that across this great nation of ours hundreds, if not, thousands of defendants have been found guilty and convicted by juries tasked with applying the vary same legal standard you now must face.
You get the gist.
The Illinois Supreme Court has finally given us pretty straight forward guidance on exactly what type of responses are appropriate when a jury, nonetheless, asks for further clarification concerning the meaning of “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
See my last podcast on this issue: “Reasonable Doubt Question Answered By Illinois Supreme Court.”
I'm not rehashing any of the great analysis already conducted on that matter.
But I Got to Thinking …
As a former prosecutor, I got to say, I really gave this argument some milage. No doubt something like this was in my trial book. On the defense side, I have also heard the prosecutors going against me use the same argument.
With all this “reasonable doubt” talk, I finally have come around to ask the basic question:
Is this line of argument objectionable? Is there any legal basis to prevent the prosecution from making that argument?
The part I'm talking about is the reference to hundreds, if not thousands, of other juries reaching verdicts without necessarily having a definition to the term.
I Want to Hear What You Think
I can probably come up with some remarks, off the cuff, going both ways.
But I really want to know what the smartest podcast audience in the whole world has to say about this. I plan on putting out a show that broadcasts as many of the responses as I can get.
Yes, I'm trying something new here.
I'm not exactly sure how it is going to pan out.
I do know it has become quite difficult to coordinate between my schedule and my listeners' schedules. Thus, recording an interview with a knowledgable colleague is almost impossible.
Take some time, contemplate the matter and record your response. Below I explain the various options available to do this. I'm hoping to get arguments on both sides. My intentions with editing is to just organize the responses and help them flow, otherwise, I don't plan on chopping up a response.
So, follow one of the options below.
I'm hoping to get as many listeners as possible on the podcast.
How To Record Your Response
There are three ways to record a question, answer a question, or make a comment to be aired on the podcast.
1) You can use your phone the good old fashion way and leave me a traditional voicemail message by dialing +1 (630) 457-1478. You can also send me a text at the same number to give me a heads up that you left a message.
2) You can also record your voice with your computer or other recording equipment so long as you can generate an audio file like an MP3. Then you can just attach the file to an email and send it to partidasam@IllinoisCaseLaw.com. This includes using your phone to create an audio memo that can then be emailed to the same email address.
3) If you have a decent microphone on your computer, you can hit the “Start recording” button below and the message will be automatically sent to me. If you are on your phone you'll have to download the free “SpeakPipe” app. Nothing wrong with deleting the app once your done.
3 1/2) If none of these methods are working for you and you have a response, then just send me an email with subject “I can't record my response”, leave a phone number for me to call you, then I'll just use my equipment to record a phone call with you. Then we sit back and pray our schedules align.