VOL. 127 | NO. 179 | Thursday, September 13, 2012
Did They Really Say That?
By Vic Fleming
Thanks for the cards and letters regarding how much you enjoyed the past few weeks’ return to our roots – our roots being quotations from “The Record,” that large, vague compendium of things people have actually said or written in court proceedings.
To the question that I’m repeatedly asked, “Yes! They actually did say that.” This week, we’ll give things a bit of a twist. These are words uttered by lawyers themselves – usually after an answer given by a witness and, perhaps, while not fully processing the words they heard:
Q: What is your relationship to Darrell?
A: I’m his mother.
Q: And you have been all his life?
Q: I’m going to show you what’s been marked as State’s Exhibit 2. Do you recognize this picture?
A: John Fletcher. That’s me.
Q: This is you?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: Were you present when the picture was taken?
Q: When was your son born?
Q: Was this before or after your hysterectomy?
Q: Where did you have sexual relations with this woman?
A: In my pickup truck.
Q: Were you parked?
Q: What else did they take X-rays of? Other than your knees and your heads?
Q: Your head. Excuse me. You have only one head, correct?
Q: How long have you lived in this town?
A: All my life.
Q: And where did you live before that?
Q: Were you the daughter of the late W.T. Vandergrift?
A: Yes, I was.
Q: In what capacity?
Q: Where were you born?
A: Memphis, Texas.
A: Aug. 20, 1953.
Q: Did you live in Memphis? Or did you just go there to be born?
Q: How far pregnant are you?
A: I will be three months on Nov. 8.
Q: Apparently the date of conception was Aug. 8?
Q: What were you and your husband doing at that time?
Q: You’ve testified that Cecil is dead?
A: Yes. He died this year in March or April.
Q: So, he’s not available to testify in this hearing, is that right?
Vic Fleming is a district court judge in Little Rock, Ark., where he also teaches at the William H. Bowen School of Law. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.