Friday, January 22, 2010

This Is Old City Hall, Day 4

As part of Osgoode's Intensive Program in Criminal Law, I'm spending my final term of law school at Old City Hall. Go to the first day.

Yesterday I observed the trial of two individuals for attempted robbery and forcible confinement of a cab driver. It wasn't as thrilling as that sounds; there was a major identification issue, the forcible confinement charge arose from a matter of seconds in which the accused held the cabbie's door shut, and nobody even came close to robbing or getting robbed. The judge whom I was to shadow for the day was likewise underwhelmed by the proceedings, and recommended I go to the courtroom next door to watch the cross-examination of a police officer.

I did so in the afternoon, but fared little better there: the cross-examination had been underway for some time and it was impossible to pick up the thread. The Crown seemed to take issue with the accused officer's account of an arrest, during which the officer allegedly traversed a coffee table in the course of tackling a suspect. I say traversed because much was made of the semantic distinction between jumping, leaping and diving over the coffee table. In whatever manner the officer moved over the coffee table, though, the suspect was tackled to the floor and a nearby TV was knocked over, so it seems likely that the officer didn't move with grace and poise.

A sampling of my handwritten notes, taken while sitting in hallways and courtrooms throughout the day:
  • Who knew trials about violent crimes could be so boring?
  • [a caricature of the first accused]
  • This sucks so hard.
  • Reminder: reapply Polysporin when you get home.
  • I'm a complete idiot for not signing up for a defence lawyer [for my Intensive placement].
  • Why the %$@#! don't I think about taking responsibility for myself and my life?
  • This Crown kind of sucks. She's old enough to know better.
  • DIEU ET MON DROIT [in block letters]
  • Reminder: get/make a floor plan for the courthouse.
  • [an illustration of one stick figure holding another stick figure at gunpoint, robbing him of a sack marked $$$]
  • Reminder: you need socks ...
  • ... and you need to get your house in order [unclear whether this was meant literally or as a reference to my deplorable lifestyle and uncertain future]
  • [an illustration of a six-eyed, horned alien]
  • [an illustration of Scrabble tiles spelling out the F word, with the third tile knocked over, rendering the word completely indecipherable]
  • I should NOT become a police officer. I DON'T LIKE CONFLICT.
  • %$@#! [in block letters]

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