CAUGHT IN A WEB?

Monday, 3-31-08

CAUGHT IN A WEB?

Hans Reiser resumes his testimony tomorrow. Will his growing testimonial inconsistencies become the web that eventually traps him? DA Hora has skillfully exploited Hans’ tendency to babble, his seemingly uncontrollable tendency to wander off topic and his (almost congenital) aversion to direct “yes” or “no’ answers.

Observers in the room have begun to report telltale juror body language – such as turning away from the witness or exchanging knowing glances – when this defendant is at his least credible. At this point we may be picking up the early signs of a divided jury, one split between those jurors who are making excuses for Reiser’s terrible testimony as the idiosyncrasies of an emotionally crippled Geek and those who see this behavior as the evasions of an arrogant killer.

The tie breaker, if it ever emerges in this long, long trial, will not come directly from Reiser’s testimony but from extrinsic proof – in the form of a clear rebuttal to something Hans has said under oath.

One illustration: The guilt-leaning jurors are thinking that Hans really, really didn’t want the CRX car seat to be subjected to CSI-style forensic analysis, and the defense-leaning jurors are still making excuses. Hans has been nailed down on this via cross examination: He tossed the chair into a dumpster, not an oil can, not a wrecking yard, not a refuge pit, and he did so (if he is to be believed) at a specific time and place. Evidence that the disposal could not have happened as he has testified it did will be a powerful blow to the defense, a possible tie breaker. DA Paul Hora’s goal in cross examination is to multiply the number of opportunities for this kind of clear refutation, because he knows that internal inconsistencies in Hans’s testimony may not be enough…

Stay tuned.

JBG

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