Dictionary…. New Evidence?????

Once again I sit here flummoxed at yet another judges’ ‘orders’. Now if you don’t know flummoxed means do not dare ask for a dictionary in Judge Leonie Brinkema court. Yes, ladies and gentlemen the very same judge that is handling the Moussaoui trial. On Tuesday the jurors requested that horrible book known as Dictionary, and you got it Judge Brinkema refused the jurors the much-feared book. The reason the judge gave? It was tantamount (the word Judge Brinkema used, can we say crass) to introducing additional evidence. Yes, now requesting definition of information at a trial is additional evidence. You will all be relieved to know that the jurors’ request and the judge’s refusal of said request will not hamper the courts. I know you just cannot believe what I am saying is true, well I was ready for that here’s some links for you to check out this story: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4954900.stm & http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/04/28/moussaoui.trial/index.html?section=cnn_topstories

Now I am sure someone will reply ‘Well what is someone doing as a juror that doesn’t know what “aggravating” (word in question) means. What I will say is when did it become additional evidence to try and clarify information one was given as “evidence”? Now granted the judge gave their definition of the word “aggravating”, I wonder if a lawyer could use this as a judge giving biased “evidence”. I know you scoff at my concerns, but it could happen. I would think with the only person to be tried in the U.S. in connection with the 9/11 attacks the judge & DA would want no risk that could lead to a mistrial (including a flashy defense attorney saying by the judge giving their biased definition of a word influenced the jurors verdict). Now mind you this word (aggravating) does play a semi-major part in the jurors’ deliberations (example following), in the first phase, the verdict form had four questions to answer. The current form requires jurors to address 33 aggravating and mitigating factors before answering the final question determining Moussaoui’s punishment

Now as I said Judge Brinkema did give a definition of the word aggravating, which was and I quote “The word ‘aggravating‘ essentially means to make something worse.” Judge Brinkema finished up with “Do not hesitate to ask questions if you have any. If you have a question, we are here to help.” I guess as long as you don’t want a dictionary to be sure about a word’s meaning you can ask any questions you want for clarification

So what do you think about this? Do you think to ask for a dictionary is tantamount to introducing additional evidence or ???? Now one other tidbit of info is that when Brinkema had denied the jury’s request for a dictionary Tuesday, the jurors never asked for any definitions, yet Brinkema volunteered their very own (without assistance of a dictionary I assume) definition of aggravating. See this is what is worrying me for if the jurors did NOT ask for the definition of the word and the judge gave one anyway… well you see what I mean

Well I can’t wait to hear the replies to this one


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