Thursday, April 22, 2010

Unavailable Witness? His excuse "stinks".

You know... you just can't make this stuff up. As reported in SF Weekly:

Prosecution Witness Unable to Testify Because He Was "Covered in Feces"

In a DUI trial in San Francisco, a witness for the prosecution claimed that he had "soiled himself" to which the judge declared him "unavailable" and excused him from testifying. The judge allowed the witness's pre-trial testimony to be read into the record - admissible hearsay? The defendant was found guilty.

The defense has made a motion for a new trial. If denied, there will be an appeal.

Here are some of the nuggets from the article:
Deputy public defender Prithika Balakrishnan will be filing a motion for a new trial at the sentencing hearing for her DUI client tomorrow, arguing gastrointestinal malfunctions don't get witnesses off the hook. According to state statute, a witness can be "unavailable" for reasons such as being dead or being unable to attend due to "an existing physical or mental illness or infirmity." Balakrishnan figures that loose bowels don't qualify -- and if her motion is denied, she says she will file an intent to appeal.

According to Balakrishnan's motion, which she read to SF Weekly over the phone, Assistant District Attorney Damali Taylor went to talk to [the witness] in the hallway before the phlebotomist was set to testify. Taylor returned to tell the judge and defense attorney, out of earshot of the jury, that [the witness] was "covered in feces." The two attorneys and the judge went to see [the witness] in the hallway, where Balakrishnan says [the witness] reported he'd had an incident and that "the entire courtroom would smell like feces" if he were to testify.

Goldsmith allowed [the witness's] testimony from a pre-trial hearing to be read to the jury and into the record. Balakrishnan says she didn't ask all the probing questions of him at the hearing she would have in front of a jury. Her client was found guilty.

"I think we have a good issue on appeal about whether he was available or not," Balakrishnan says. "They could have easily postponed his testimony for a few hours. There's a number of things the judge could have done instead of wholesale denying my client the chance to cross-examine him."

Balakrishnan says she regrets not pushing the issue of whether [the witness] actually soiled himself or was just making it up. "I didn't see anything. I didn't smell anything. I don't know if he did. I was just so flabbergasted. I'm like, 'what do I say here?'" DA spokesman Brian Buckelew blasted any suggestion that [the witness] dropped a load with the intention of skipping testimony: "I don't think that it's so he didn't have to testify. That's pretty committed."
What do you think?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Make it a Monday!

Yep! You read that correctly! Make it a Monday! Monday's tend to get a bad rap. But really, Monday's are weekly resets that we get for free. On Monday mornings we tend to get up and plan out the week. We are energized to conquer the world.

So what happens by Wednesday or Thursday that gets us unmotivated and dejected? Let's make every morning like Monday morning. Plan out the week. Conquer the world! Are you with me?

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Let us Give Thanks

Why is it that we only focus on giving thanks in November? Let us give thanks every day for the blessings that we have. No matter how dark it may seem, if we look, every day has a little nugget of sunshine that we can be thankful for. For me, it's my wife and kids. But also, my friends, the prospect of a new career, and my creative endeavors. Sometimes, it's just making it through the day. I give thanks and I start to notice more things to give thanks for. It is a self perpetuating exercise!

So I urge you to look at your day... and give thanks.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

How can I help?

Hi everybody!
As some of my close friends and family already know, I've been laid off from my job. This means that now I have more time to help! Of course, I would prefer to fill most of my time generating income... but that doesn't mean that I won't help some of you good folks out on a "pro bono" basis either.

Give me a call... it never hurts to ask! 305-600-2460

By the way, you may be wondering what sort of help I can give? Take a look at my LinkedIN profile and my consulting website for more information.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Those of you that know me know that, while I am a faithful and religious person, I don't like to engage in "Bible Bingo". Every once in a while, however, the Word is so powerful and timely that I must take notice.

Thanks to Christi for sending me the Gospel and reflection for April 22, 2008 (Independence Day).

Jn 14:27-31a

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give it to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
You heard me tell you,
‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’
If you loved me,
you would rejoice that I am going to the Father;
for the Father is greater than I.
And now I have told you this before it happens,
so that when it happens you may believe.
I will no longer speak much with you,
for the ruler of the world is coming.
He has no power over me,
but the world must know that I love the Father
and that I do just as the Father has commanded me.”

Reflection from The Little White Book, by Bishop Ken Untener

There are many things we want in life. But, in “here and now” terms, the one thing we want most of all is inner peace.

I know this world is not perfect (any more than I am perfect). I know that there is pain and suffering. I know that love is sometimes fragile and my heart will be broken. I know all about sickness and setbacks and failure. I know I will make mistakes along the way and often have no excuse.

But, oh, beneath all of this, to have a deep-down inner peace…Not a false peace (and I can tell the difference), but an honest to goodness deep-down peace. That is what I want most of all. Honestly, I could handle all the rest if I could just have that kind of peace.

Look again at the Gospel passage above. Jesus promises his disciples – including me (!) – a peace that drink and drugs and false compliments and distractions and day-dreaming cannot give. He promises a peace that goes to the roots, to the core of who I am.

Read the text one more time, and hear Jesus speak your name when he says, “[Your name], my peace I give to you.”

Jesus doesn’t make false promises.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Helping Hand

Helping Hand
Originally uploaded by Jeff Kubina
A helping hand. A kind word. An uplifting sentiment. When was the last time you took the focus off of yourself and just offered to help? I find that I am very fortunate in that my formation held as a keystone the concept of service. Indeed, throughout the six most formative years of my life, the mantra of "Men for Others" was a daily reminder that we prosper as a community when we help each other along the way. True service is at its best when it is offered freely and with no reservations. This, undoubtedly, is the most difficult part. When we pose the question, "How can I help?" - we open ourselves up to an infinite number of responses. Some may even be downright disagreeable. If our offer to be of service is heartfelt, true, and open, however, then there is nothing that can be asked of us that we cannot lend our hands and hearts to. The very act of opening our hearts to true service allows the graces necessary to carry out that service to flow in. The interesting and miraculous thing about service is that, like a flame, that strength and grace that flows from the service does not diminish when shared... no, it most certainly multiplies.

How can I help?

Friday, January 25, 2008

Do you know Jay?

Hi everybody.... so how are your New Year's Resolutions going?

Ahhh... yeah, don't everyone speak up all at once.... OK, how about just all of you (us) that have decided to lose weight in 2008? Yeah, well... me too. That's OK. It's bound to happen. Especially with weight loss goals (and let's face it, we can all stand to lose a few pounds) those resolutions, although often publicly proclaimed... are often only privately monitored. Soon, they fall by the wayside and our old habits take back the lead. Sometimes, however, if we could just have a shared experience - team up with someone, go into the resolution together, or at least just connect with someone else who is trying to do this, too... then we won't feel like we are going at it alone.

Let me introduce you to Jay Martinez. I've had the privilege of getting connected to Jay through my Social Networking Tribe. Jay, like many of us has embarked on the "weight loss" trek - and he's doing it! More than that... he's motivating the rest of us to get up off of our blog-reading-mountain-dew-drinking seats and get moving, too! "I am aiming," says Jay, "to get people who have considered working out but were too lazy to do it (like me) to get up and go."

Jay was also recently featured on the popular weight loss blog, Back in Skinny Jeans. In that article, Jay shares,

"On my blog, I have a section called “The Road to 170” which is the weight goal I want to reach by March 2008. Here I track my weight and body fat percentage. I also have another section called “Workout Routine” where you can see what my basic workout routine is for the week. I even workout using a Wii!"

Thanks, Jay, for inspiring us on your Road to 170!