Today was an amazing day spent in court!
I started out in the office looking through phone records for a case my mentor is handling. When somebody is suspected of crime, a court can warrant the tapping of somebody's phone. I was looking through these phone records seeing which ones I thought were suspicioius. The investigator on the case would look over them as well, since I don't really have a 6th sense about code words for crimes (yet!), but it was super interesting to read through the transcripts!
Later, Connie and I headed down to the Multnomah Courthouse for a few hours of fun in court. I didn't know this before, but anybody can go in those court rooms and sit and watch. So we took the liberty of walking around and finding interesting cases to find.
We first saw a probation violation case. I'm not really sure what she'd done, but it wasn't too interesting. Bascially just the woman promising she'd made changes in her life and that she was ready to continue on in her probation. I guess the judge has heard this type of argument a million times, but the woman seemed pretty convincing to me!
Then we saw a civil case. I think it had something to do with a work injury problem, but the witness on the stand was actually being questioned through video conference (I think it was skype). This was interesting, because it kept getting broken up, and nothing can really be used as a statement unless the statement is crystal clear. So we left because it wasn't that interesting, but they had to take a break to try and fix the connection.
The last and most interesting case we saw was a DUII. I'm really not sure what I can/can't say on here, but I really enjoyed this case. We saw two officers testify as witnesses, as well as the defendent's testimony before closing. There was a jury in this case as well, so we paid special attention to their reaction to the defendant's testimony. I pretty much made up my mind about the case by the time we left, but the jury took a break and we didn't stay any longer.
The judges were all nice and most of them acknowledged that I was there, which was cool. It was surprising to see how different court rooms in the same court house can be so different. Some rooms we went into were super formal--everybody was silent the entire time, everybody was dressed extremely nice, etc. But in other court rooms, talking seemed to be acceptable and it just had a much more relaxed atmosphere. It was also surprising to see the difference int he physical appearance of the court rooms. Some are gorgeous, some are not...
I had a good day and am looking forward to the zoo tomorrow and then getting back to work on Thursday.