Former Police Officer Derrick Chavin most likely spent his last weekend of freedom for a very very long time. The prosecution heads into closing arguments this week on what we have seen to be a slow plea with evidence admitted that would never have passed muster in our trials, especially in Florida. ME's stating that the cause of death was homicide. Puhleeze. We would have savaged the academic bookworm who opined about the functioning of lungs and the excessive force. He would have been gasping for his own air on the stand with a cross examination that would have focused on the last time he was surrounded by a hostile crowd while trying to arrest a felon who outweighed by a hundred pounds. While he may make split second decisions about patients lives in an ICU, how many times does his decisions affect not only the patient's life, but his own?
But we did not try the case.
How do you prepare for closing argument?
Mr. Markus is known to watch "A Few Good Men" for inspiration.
We play Bruce Springsteen's "No Retreat No Surrender" in our car every day during a trial, and in the parking lot on the day of closing. Then as we have a small break in the proceedings just before closing we close our eyes and recite this stanza from Thomas Babington Macaulay's Lays of Ancient Rome:
Then Out spake brave Horatius Captain of the gate:
"To every man upon this earth, death come soon or late.
And how can man die better than facing fearful odds.
For the ashes of his Father and the Temple of his Gods."
Benefits of a classical education.