Mar 07, 2008 Yow! I AM having fun, on the road to a win
Zippy the Pinhead is my favorite comic strip. Zippy spews non sequiturs, repeatedly proclaims "Yow!", and asks "Are we having fun yet?" in this overcommercialized society that tells people they won’t be glad til they use Dial. Every four years, he runs for president.
Trials often are tribulations for criminal defendants. Earlier this week in criminal traffic court in Maryland, Zippy seemed to be with me and my client in spirit as we proceeded to beat a drunk driving trial. The prosecutor spent significant time preparing the arresting officer in the hallway outside the courtroom. Nevertheless, the prosecutor apparently had not prepared the arresting cop sufficiently to permit his field sobriety testing testimony, and it seems that the prosecutor did not know how to get around the repeated defense objections sustained by the judge.
Essentially, the prosecutor asked the cop under whose auspices he was trained, but the cop was unable to recall which organization was involved in his training. He only knows that Bob, another police officer, trained him for investigating violations of the drinking and driving laws. The judge agreed that the prosecutor had not elicited sufficient testimony or evidence to permit the cop to testify about any field sobriety tests and about any arrest and the events that followed it.
During the trial, as numerous key evidentiary rulings were decided in our favor, I leaned to my client and said: "I AM having fun." With so many criminal defendants having their rights violated by the powers that be, it is all the more a rush to obtain such victories. Jon Katz.