Here is one more reason not to exclude the press and public from courtrooms. It is way too rough on legal analysts. Today, out of nowhere, the alleged victim showed up in the courthouse and was escorted into the courtroom. We all thought she was there to testify -- perhaps a rebuttal witness for the prosecution on the still unconcluded Rape Shield issue -- maybe as a witness on the critical pre-trial motions regarding the admissibility of her purported suicide attempts or her alleged drug and alcohol abuse.
However, as we speculated on the above possibilities and its implications, word came from State Court Administrator Karen Salaz who approached us in the courtroom hallway to which the media is relegated. Ms. Salaz heard from DA spokeswoman Krista Flanagan that the complaining witness was only there to observe. Say what? We thought there were expert witnesses -- mental health professionals on the stand -- opining about what the alleged victim did and what it all means. How in the world could she sit in court and witness that? Karen had no answers.Colorado, like every other jurisdiction I know, has a rule of law which excludes witnesses from hearing what other witnesses have to say under oath. It is called Colorado Rule of Evidence 615 and it provides as follows:
- EXCLUSION OF WITNESSESAt the request of a party the court shall order witnesses excluded so that they cannot hear the testimony of other witnesses, and it may make the order of its own motion. This rule does not authorize exclusion of (1) a party who is a natural person, or (2) an officer or employee of a party which is not a natural person designated as its representative by its attorney, or (3) a person whose presence is shown by a party to be essential to the presentation of his cause.
- May 11, 2004: Craig's Court: A Weird Event In A Strange Case
- April 29, 2004: Craig's Court: Almost Winning Time
- April 6, 2004: Craig's Court: The Defense Fires Back
- March 30, 2004: Craig's Court: Names and Appearances
- March 26, 2004: Craig's Court: Misreading Or Misleading Or Retreating?
- March 17, 2004: Craig's Court: Fishing In The Right Spots
- March 12, 2004: Craig's Court: DA Calls Time Out -- What Is Going To Happen Now
- March 2, 2004: Craig's Court: Are Those White Flags? March 1, 2004: Craig's Court: Role ReversalFebruary 4, 2004: Craig's Court: You Are Free To GoFebruary 2, 2004: Craig's Court: I Call Them As I See ThemJanuary 31, 2004: Craig's Court: Tabloid Time -- The Shapiro FactorJanuary 23, 2004: Craig's Court: OJ, JonBenet, DNA and Lotsa Delays
- January 13, 2004: Craig's Court: Relevant Evidence Or Character Assassination?
- January 9, 2004: Craig's Court: Kobe's Body Is Different Now
- December 29, 2003: Craig's Court: How Slow Can You Go? December 15, 2003: Craig's Court: The Good, The Bad and The UglyDecember 8, 2003: Craig's Court: A Tale Of Two ShirtsNovember 21, 2003: Craig's Court: The Wacko Jacko Impact On Kobe BryantNovember 20, 2003: Craig's Court: 101 Dull MotionsNovember 19, 2003: Craig's Court: Probable Cause Equals HIV TestingNovember 18, 2003: Craig's Court: The Invitee and the Intruder
- November 13, 2003: Craig's Court: Non-Destructive Stalling In Kobe Bryant's Case Nov. 12, 2003: Craig's Court: A Lawyer's Blog On The Bryant Case