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Ernie's House of Whoopass! January 23, 2016
January 23, 2016

Jury Duty Part X: Closing Arguments

ONE THING I FORGOT FROM OFFICER FRODO'S TESTIMONY: on the bodycamera footage we see Chris Penn offer the same, "I thought this was my boss's truck," explanation for his looking inside the toolbox in John Goodman's truck. When Officer Frodo asks him what kind of truck his boss drives, Chris Penn replies with, "We went to work in a box truck today."

As we were already well into the late afternoon and none of us really wanted to come back for a third day of jury duty, we were all quite anxious to get the show on the road. First up to the plate was Unpronounceablename. She is of course batting for the state of Florida, hobbling up to the podium with some handwritten notes in one hand and using the other to support some of her weight as she crossed around the corner of her table. She pulls the microphone down to her mouth and essentially just hammers down the finer points of the State's case: Chris Penn was indeed caught red handed. That not all of his body need to be inside the tool box in order for the elements of the crime of burglary to be satisfied; that she indeed had her "two buns and a well cooked piece of meat."

At some point, Dr Taub cleared his throat to get Unpronounceablename's attention and when she looked over at him, he was gentle tapping a finger on his wristwatch. Unpronounceablename gives an ever so subtle nod of her head, and reminds us of the Race Trac video we watched, and how Chris Penn walked right up to John Goodman despite saying he was in fear for his safety, and how the brake lights never came on as Chris Penn struck John Goodman with his car, and how Chris Penn swore he had never even been into the dermatologists's parking lot despite video evidence to the contrary. She then thanks us for our time and service, and explains the evidence presented there today proves beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Chris Penn is guilty of both Burglary of a Conveyance and Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon.

Unpronounceablename begins her final slow and arduous trek back to her seat, and again I felt myself wincing on her behalf. I was going to look around to see if anyone else noticed the pain on her face every time she put weight onto her bad leg, but remembering when no one laughed at my earlier comment on the subject, I settled for just whispering for my fellow jurors to go fuck themselves.

"Defense," prompted El Jefe, "your closing argument." Let me tell you, Peter Griffin was waiting for this like a sprinter waiting for a starting pistol, standing up from his chair with such enthusiasm that he almost knocked it over backwards. He walks swiftly and purposely to the podium, arriving before Unpronounceablename even gets a chance to plant her ass in her own seat. Peter Griffin explains that while yes, Chris Penn said on camera that he want to work in a box truck that day, that doesn't necessarily mean that his boss doesn't drive a pickup truck that could easily be confused with John Goodman's silver Dodge Ram; only that Chris Penn went to work in a box truck that particular day. And sure his client was looking at the truck, but the state offered no proof that he or any part of his body was actually inside the truck in any way. He asks each of us whether or not we too would flee if a physically imposing man ran up to us and shouted, "HEY! WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING IN MY TRUCK!?" before damaging our car. He further asks us to imagine the fear we would feel -- "HEY! WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING IN MY TRUCK!?" -- when we finally felt we had escaped our tormentor, only to see he has followed you to a second location -- "HEY! WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING IN MY TRUCK!?" -- to force a second confrontation. Besides, Chris Penn barely bumped John Goodman, hardly the use of a deadly weapon. I'll be honest, at thing point I don't think Peter griffin harbored any hope that he was going to win this case, only that he wanted to see just how many times he could say, "HEY! WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING IN MY TRUCK!?" in open court and get away with it.

Peter Griffin also thanks us for our time and service on the jury, and reminds us that while the State's case does indeed raise some questions, none of those questions can be so formidable as to overcome the defense's presumption of innocence. "Lady and gentlemen of the jury," Peter Griffin closes with confidence, "what you have seen here today is nothing more than a simple case of mistaken identity, blown out of proportion by an overzealous and aggressive individual who overreacted to a simple mistake, all culminating with an incomplete and shoddy police investigation." He ends his closing argument with a nod that is so vigorous, it sends a tousle of hair down over his forehead.

Once Peter Griffin is safely back in his chair, El Jefe gives the prosecution the green light to finish the second half of their closing argument. At this prompt, Dr Taub stands up and approaches the podium empty handed, carrying nothing but a pen in his hand. Curiously enough, it isn't until now that I realize he is about half a foot shorter than Peter Griffin and the microphone is pointed directly at his forehead, like some giant black cock in a gay bukkake film. Dr Taub reaches up and pulls the microphone lower, but does not speak into it. He just sits there for a good long while, shifting his stare from one juror to the next, while saying absolutely nothing. And it doesn't sound like much in casual conversation, but when there's ten seconds of pure silence in a courtroom while you know a guy is supposed to be talking to you, it really piques your interest. All I could think of was that episode of Boston legal where Denny Crane goes, "pregnant pause, man." And then after what seemed like four hours, Dr Taub explains that the intent for said burglary is considered "mens rea" -- a crime of the mind -- and may be determined by not just physical but circumstantial evidence, such as Chris Penn having no business at the dermatologists's office, his opening both of his passenger side doors closes to the truck he planned to burglarize, and his fleeing he scene after being caught. Dr Taub contends if Chris Penn had indeed in feared for his safety, he should have remained in the Race Trac and waited for the police to arrive instead of fleeing the scene, assaulting John Goodman in the process. Dr Taub further contends in no uncertain terms, that only a complete fucking idiot could confuse a box truck with a pickup truck. We are again thanked for our time and service before Dr Taub returns to his seat.

Upon completion of both sides of the closing arguments, El Jefe again reiterated his previous instructions about how closing arguments were not to be accepted as testimony, only as interpretation of the testimony. The final judgement of which will be our responsibility during the deliberation process. El Jefe then goes on to detail exactly what criminal charges we could find Chris Penn guilty of: Burglary of a Conveyance, or if we can not determine the intent to steal, simple Trespassing, or of course Not Guilty. As for the second charge, Chris Penn was facing Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, or if we decide the car was not a deadly weapon in this particular instance, simple Battery, or Not Guilty. The overhead projector changes from its blue DVD INPUT 1 to the display a sample jury ballot box. El Jefe makes sure that none of us jurors have any questions as to how to properly fill out the ballot. Since it it literally a fucking piece of paper with six square checkboxes on it and we are not all complete fucking morons, we all nod out heads in agreement that we understand how the process works. I know, I know. He's just crossing the T's and dotting the I's. "You will now begin the most important part of your jury service. it is your responsibility to weigh the evidence presented to you during this trial and determine whether or not Chris Penn is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt," El Jefe clears his throat and calls for those in attendance to stand, "Please rise while the jury leaves the courtroom to begin deliberations."

Monday: To absolutely no one'e surprise, deliberations don't take that long.

Hey Ernie, Just found this awesome hunting /swamp mobile. Thought you might need one for those everglades excursions. Great site, been a fan for many years ! Keep up the code ! Thanks, Dennis

Hi Ernie, That right there is the German In-touch magazine from December 2007. Mark

This video is going to be even more awesome in 20 years when one of these kids gets married and the other is best man: kid loses wrestling match to twin brother, promptly punches him in the nuts.

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