If a witness did not have a motive to lie, you may consider that as well in evaluating the witness's truthfulness.4 All these things which, it seems to me, would influence you in your daily lives in appraising the reliability of things that are said to you would influence you in appraising the reliability of testimony presented to you. They also do so under the risk of facing criminal charges if they lie to the court. Your belief that it conveys that seems to be based on implicature: the judge would not feel compelled to mention it unless they thought the witness is lying. When this happens in the American justice system, the witness’s testimony will not ordinarily be thrown out. Housekeeping Measures. 1.7 credibility of witnesses In deciding the facts in this case, you may have to decide which testimony to believe and which testimony not to believe. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the principle functioned as a mandatory presumption that a witness was unreliable if they previously lied while offering testimony. And today, one of the most interesting witnesses was the one the jury never laid eyes on: Mike McDaniel, David Camm's defense attorney in 2002, during his first trial. In exercising your authority in this regard, perhaps the single most important thing you must consider is the credibility of the witnesses who appear before you. “Neither is there any reason to distinguish law enforce­ment witnesses from lay witnesses.” Alito also noted that allowing civil actions against grand jury witnesses could subvert grand jury secrecy. 583, 589 (1983); Commonwealth v. Dabrieo,370 Mass. The witness, Alberto Torres, told a State Supreme Court jury in Manhattan that he lied when he told the grand jury on Nov. 18, 1982, that he did not know Irwin M. Margolies, the president of the diamond company. But in my general experience the much more common problem is to determine the extent of a witness's ability to have observed the matters about which he is testifying, the interest he may have in the outcome of the litigation, and the emotional impact that intervening events may have had on the witness's ability or willingness accurately to recall the matters about which he is testifying. Stringent Requirements. The witness has since testified that Mr. Margolies met before the killings with Donald Nash, who has since been convicted of the murders. And, a person wrongly convicted because of false testimony may be able to challenge the conviction on … Does he seem to be trying to give you information or persuade you of something? ''He never said that, no.''. If I am your witness, and when you meet me I act like “2” or “4” in the above chart, your instinct as an attorney is going to say to you, “The jury is going to hate this witness.” You are not even aware of the “1” or the “3” in the chart who might be exactly who I need to be on the witness … Or, on the other hand, was he wholly at ease in recognizing uncertainty where it existed? Mr. Torres also told the jury that on April 12, 1982 - the day that Miss Barbera was shot and the three CBS employes were killed at a West Side parking lot while trying to help her - Mr. Nash returned to midtown and confessed to him that he ''just shot three people.'' Following is an excerpt from the formal instruction given by Judge Whitman Knapp to the jury today in the trial of Stanley M. Friedman, the Bronx Democratic leader, and three co-defendants: As I've told you, you are the ultimate authority as to what facts have been proven in this case. Also, you might consider the extent to which any particular testimony fits in with all the other evidence in the case. In such circumstances you wouldn't act on it. Witnesses including parties to the case provide testimony to the court that the judge and jury consider. Cross-examination is usually the most exciting part of a trial. Rather, it is a matter of discretion for the trier of fact (the jury in a jury trial or the court in a bench trial) to decide how credible the witness is in light of the lie. When this happens in the American justice system, the witness’s testimony will not ordinarily be thrown out. There is nothing in the literal meanings of the words that says that the witness is lying. It can get especially exciting if the lawyer thinks the witness lied on direct examination and the lawyer tries to expose the lie to the jury during his or her cross-examination. “Allowing §1983 actions against grand jury witnesses would … Mr. Torres has received immunity from prosecution except for perjury. In an interview with KTRS, McCulloch explained some of his decisions about the grand jury proceedings — including the fact that some witnesses lied under oath about what they saw. Five who testified in the case admit they lied to … And they all, in one way or another, could conceive it to be in their own best interests to achieve and retain the good will of the Government. Lying is saying something you know to be untrue at the time you are saying it. Most states require that a 12-person jury in a personal injury case be unanimous in finding for the plaintiff or the defendant, though some states allow for verdicts based on a majority as low as 9 to 3. That does not mean that you may disregard a witness's testimony just because he has made some mistake -even an important mistake - or because he has told a minor lie on some unimportant matter. The Importance of Witness and Jury Eye Contact Credibility, straight and simple. A witness called by a direct examiner, on the other hand, may only be treated as hostile by that examiner after being permitted to do so by the judge, at the request of that examiner and as a result of the witness being openly antagonistic and/or prejudiced against the party that called them. You should carefully consider what effect, if any, that interest may have had on his willingness or ability accurately to portray the facts about which he testified. Also, if the witness was not under oath and told a lie to the authorities that led to your arrest, the witness may have committed other offenses, like making a false police report. The law lays down several rules which govern you in the treatment of accomplice testimony. Lies and Mistakes. Also, the law makes a specific provision that you may, if you wish, totally disregard a witnesss's entire testimony if you find that he has deliberately lied to you as to a … In the first place, it is no concern of yours, or of mine, why the Government chose not to indict certain persons or, if it did indict them, why it determined to treat them with leniency. An expert, however, can provide at least two additional valuable contributions to the trial attorney in complex cases. However, that is not necessarily the case. You do so in the exact same way that in your daily life you determine to what extent you can rely on something that is being or has been said to you. The Kansas City Star that a federal investigator in the firefighters’ explosion case pressured them to lie. You should take into account these or any other possibilities that might occur to you in evaluating his testimony. If you acted on that assumption in daily life, you wouldn't pay much attention to anything that was ever said to you. FERGUSON, Mo. The foregoing principles apply in varying degrees to all the so-called accomplice witnesses. If a witness had a motive to lie, you may consider whether and to what extent, if any, that motive affected the truthfulness of that witness's testimony. Mr. Oestericher has received immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony at this trial. It is an awesome responsibility, but the Constitution and statutes do not give you or me any authority to supervise its exercise. Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems; we are continuing to work to improve these archived versions. The Court also pointed out that witnesses who lie to the grand jury are subject to criminal prosecution. A prosecution witness testified yesterday that he had lied before a state grand jury investigating the murders of two employees of a diamond company and three CBS employees ''because I feared for my life.''. "Clearly some were not telling the truth,” Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch said in an interview with KTRS radio on Friday. The witness, Alberto Torres, told a State Supreme Court jury in Manhattan that he lied when he told the grand jury on Nov. 18, 1982, that he did not know Irwin M. Margolies, the president of … It is inherently dramatic because it is essentially a showdown between the lawyer and the witness. But, of course, you don't have to do so. Under Missouri law, McCulloch would only implicate himself if he charged "Witness 40" or other witnesses with perjury if he "knowingly" allowed them to lie to the grand jury. I mentioned to you that you should consider the interest a witness might have had in testifying before you. Mr. Margolies is now serving a 28-year Federal prison term for fraud. Also I might point out to you that -exactly like it is in daily life - you don't necessarily have to believe anything that a person says to you simply because it is uncontradicted. 402, 411 (1978). That is entirely a matter for you to say. Witnesses Lied Under Oath In Ferguson Grand Jury, Prosecutor Says The St. Louis County prosecutor in the grand jury that acquitted Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson said that some of the witnesses called lied under oath. The Kansas City Star that a federal investigator in the firefighters’ explosion case pressured them to lie. And the law requires that you scrupulously examine an accomplice's motives in persuading the Government to accept him as a witness rather than prosecute him as a defendant, to be sure that he has neither made up a story to incriminate someone nor colored the facts of an otherwise true story to make someone appear to be more guilty than he actually is. Or, on the other hand, they might have caused him to conclude that his best hope of salvation was to be able to convince the judge who will ultimately sentence him that he had been scrupulously honest in his testimony before you. Lawyers aren't cheap, and he endured multiple grand jury proceedings because of Paul's testimony. You may, as I've indicated, consider the interest any witness may have in the outcome of the action. There is a "charge" (instruction) a Judge will give the jury as a guide to how they can evaluate, or weigh, the strength of witness's tesimony, in their deliberations and thereby their verdict - That charge advises the jury that if they think a witness intentionally lied about even just one point or issue, they can choose to disregard that witness's entire testimony; or they can choose to believe one or more portions of that … In the second place, he was able to negotiate a plea which considerably reduced the total scope of the sentences that might have been imposed upon him had he been convicted of all his wrongdoing; and, finally, he hopes - as he specifically told you - that the testimony he gave in this case will induce the judge before whom he pleaded guilty to be lenient in imposing sentence. But obviously the mere fact that he has an interest would not entitle you to disregard his testimony. How in general does the speaker impress you? An expert witness can be of great help to the trial attorney in facili-tating jury comprehension of complex issues.3 The expert is usually cast in the role of expert witness testifying at trial. The Trayvon Martin case was built on a fraud, with a key witness being swapped out with an imposter when the real witness wouldn’t testify, George Zimmerman said in a lawsuit Wednesday. This is a digitized version of an article from The Times’s print archive, before the start of online publication in 1996. This is obviously a factor you will take into account in determining the reliability of his testimony. Ferguson witnesses admit they lied to grand jury. Is it up to the judge to discredit the entire witness testimony or up to the jury members whether or not to believe the testimony? ''I wouldn't commit crimes for anybody,'' Mr. Torres replied. The reason I don't like the word is that it implies that a witness who is not credible must somehow be lying, and that isn't necessarily so. If a witness took the stand and gave a testimony. An expert, however, can provide at least two additional valuable contributions to the trial attorney in complex cases. It is not for me to speculate as to whether you have found any or all of the witnesses in this case to have lied in the sense of having said things they knew to be untrue. Communication research regarding non-verbal behavior over the years has been consistent on at least one finding – the power of eye contact. Certain witnesses who spoke before the grand jury investigating the Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown told obvious lies under oath, St. Louis Prosecuting Attorney … in considering the evidence you may find inconsistencies or discrepancies in the testimony of a witness, or between the testimony of different witnesses, which may or may not cause you, the jury, to discredit such testimony. Some witnesses were clearly lying when they spoke to a grand jury about the August police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., according to … You may believe everything a witness … I now turn to the question of accomplices. [8] He later learned that Mrs. Chin was not a Federal witness. JUDGE'S CHARGE TO JURY ON WITNESS CREDIBILITY. Determining Reliability. A long testimony and then the opposing lawyer questioned the witness and then the court later discovered the witness lied about some parts of the testimony. If a witness did not have a motive to lie, you may consider that as well in evaluating the witness's truthfulness.4 Witnesses including parties to the case provide testimony to the court that the judge and jury consider. The lies that a witness presents during a criminal trial can impact the conclusion of the case by swaying the decision of the judge or jury. Assessing Lindenauer. 105. Did his attitude seem materially to change between direct and cross-examination? Once the jury reaches a decision, the jury foreperson informs the judge, and the judge usually announces the verdict in open court. Almost all of the important witnesses in this case were accomplices of one sort or another. How, then, do you determine the accuracy or reliability of any witness's testimony? A Personal Interest. While the Court's opinion certainly makes sense, we can't help sympathizing Rehberg. A witness who is angry or upset may appear to be less than objective. Obviously it is much more pleasant to be a witness than to be a defendant. Earlier, Mr. Oestericher told the jury that he, Mr. Margolies, Mr. Torres and Mr. Nash had conspired to commit the murders, that he had asked Mr. Torres to find a killer and that Mr. Torres had found Mr. Nash. To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them. And, a person wrongly convicted because of false testimony may be able to challenge the conviction on … So here, you need not necessarily accept any testimony simply because it is uncontradicted. ''You wouldn't commit crimes for Harry, would you?'' Well, one witness who clearly had such an interest is the defendant Friedman, who testified on his own behalf. The witness, Alberto Torres, told a State Supreme Court jury in Manhattan that he lied when he told the grand jury on Nov. 18, 1982, that he did not know Irwin M. Margolies, the president of … Likewise, at the O.J. It's an instruction that tells the jury that if they find a witness has testified falsely about one thing, they can, if they choose, disregard all of that witness' testimony as being unreliable and not credibile. witness who will lie about one fact will lie about others. Did he appear certain about things that in your judgment he was in no position to have certain knowledge of? This is a digitized version of an article from The Times’s print archive, before the start of online publication in 1996. Mr. Torres, a building superintendent and a friend of Henry Oestricher, Mr. Margolies's confidante, contradicted Mr. Oestricher's account of how the murders were arranged. Criminal Jury Instructions approved by the Judicial Council of California at its September 2020 meeting. However, you … On the other hand you might - after considering the extent of and motives for the lie - decide, ''Well, I'll be on my guard, but I'll continue to evaluate on its merits anything that person says.''. Five who testified in the case admit they lied to … Someone may say something to you which is wholly uncontradicted, but which nonetheless seems implausible to you. Most states require that a 12-person jury in a personal injury case be unanimous in finding for the plaintiff or the defendant, though some states allow for verdicts based on a majority as low as 9 to 3. Those factors, in my experience, have usually been more important in influencing the accuracy of a witness's recollection and therefore of his testimony than a witness's present intention to tell an untruth. Also, as I believe I told you when you were being selected, if you once come to the conclusion that an accomplice witness has given reliable testimony, you are required to act on it exactly as you would act on any other testimony you found to be reliable, even though you may thoroughly dislike the witness giving it to you. I am going to discuss with you in some detail the testimony of the witness Lindenauer, not because I think his testimony is more important than any other witness - that is a question wholly within your province to determine - but simply because all attorneys in the case spent so much time on this particular aspect of his testimony that it lends iteslf to illustrating the principles involved. Also, if the witness was not under oath and told a lie to the authorities that led to your arrest, the witness may have committed other offenses, like making a false police report. Mr. Torres said Mr. Oestericher suggested Mr. Nash on his own. Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems; we are continuing to work to improve these archived versions. Mr. Margolies is charged with the murder of two of his employees, Margaret Barbera and Jenny Soo Chin, because he believed that they were cooperating with a Federal investigation into a $5.7 million fraud by his company. Some witnesses "clearly " lied to the St. Louis grand jury investigating the police shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., prosecutor Robert McCulloch said in an interview. Robert Hill Schwartz, Mr. Margolies's lawyer, asked, referring to Mr. Oestericher. Affecting the outcome of jury … The decision of what persons should be prosecuted and what pleas of guilty should be accepted from persons who are indicted, are matters which the Constitution and statues of the United States have delegated to the Attorney General of the United States who, in turn, has delegated it to Mr. Giuliani and his counterparts in other judicial districts. An expert witness can be of great help to the trial attorney in facili-tating jury comprehension of complex issues.3 The expert is usually cast in the role of expert witness testifying at trial. Rather, it is a matter of discretion for the trier of fact (the jury in a jury trial or the court in a bench trial) to decide how credible the witness is in light of the lie. Some face sentence, and some testified under grants of various types of immunity, which greatly reduced the possibility of their ever being prosecuted. You may consider whether a witness had, or did not have, a motive to lie. Some witnesses obviously lied while testifying under oath to the Ferguson grand jury that ultimately declined to indict 18-year-old Michael Brown, said the St. Louis county prosecutor in charge of … Print A prosecution witness in Wilberto Melendez’s homicide trial testified Thursday that she lied to police and the jury. Under cross-examination, Mr. Torres yesterday denied that Mr. Oestericher had asked him to find a killer. If you are testifying before the grand jury, there will not be a defense attorney present. These circumstances could have affected Lindenauer in at least three possible ways. Simpson murder trial, Judge Lance Ito applied the doctrine to instruct the jury that " [a] witness who is willfully false in one material part of his or her testimony is to be distrusted in others." Pretrial CALCRIM No. To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them. 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