NEW TITLE!!


INJUSTICE FOR ALL


By


Joe Simonelli


This is a brand new courtroom drama set in Essex county New Jersey and ripped from the headlines of what happens between inmates and corrections officers in county jails across the country!


In this tense courtroom drama the audience serves as courtroom spectators and 8 to 12 members vote on the verdict of the trail they have just witnessed!



Sample dialogue


INJUSTICE FOR ALL

By

Joe Simonelli

                                   © 2017 Joe Simonelli

 

 

 

 


 

This play is represented by

Gary DaSilva

111 N. Sepulveda Blvd Ste #250

Manhattan Beach Ca. 90266 310-318-5665 mail@garydasilva.com


CAST

Judge Elizabeth Swanson - Female

Frank Broderick - the defendant, white male 24 years old.

Pamela Bowers Court appointed defense attorney, Black female 34-45 years old.

Nancy Colletti - District Attorney, female 40-50 years old.

Capt. Carducci - Male, Captain in the Corrections Dept. Essex County New jersey.

Bailiff (any gender or race)

Juan Ramirez - Male corrections officer

Becky Giles Court stenographer

Dr. Angela Morvees Female prison surgeon

Anton Baily - male black prison inmate

 


All characters and incidents depicted in this play are fictitious.

 


ACT I

 

SETTING :         A court room in Essex County, New Jersey. Depending on the size of the stage

and venue there should be a main entrance and a door leading to the judges chambers. If size allows there should be a side door leading off to holding cells and other areas of the courtroom. A raised platform Stage right holds the judges desk and witness chair. The prosecution and defense tables are center stage. Chairs stage left for the witnesses. The audience serves as the jury and at the end of the play twelve of them will vote on the case. (For smaller venues go with eight. Try to seat them in the first row. If the size of the stage allows you can have a separate jury box on stage.)

 

AT RISE:          Bailiff and court stenographer are chatting near her seat as the prosecutor goes

over her notes. The lawyer for the defense and the defendant sit conversing silently. The various witnesses are standing or sitting in their chairs. Witness Ramirez wears sunglasses at all

times.

 

BAILIFF

(Moves to his position near witness chair as he sees the judge enter from her Chambers) All Rise, District court of the county of Essex New Jersey is now in session in the matter of the State versus Francis Broderick. Judge Elizabeth Swanson presiding.

SWANSON

(reads from her notes)

Be seated. The matter in the case of The State of New Jersey versus Francis Xavier Broderick is in session. The Jury being duly sworn in, will now be instructed as to the charges before opening statements begin. Due to the lateness of the hour we will proceed as far as time allows. (to Jury) Ladies and gentlemen of the jury you are here to hear testimony in the matter of the State of New Jersey versus Francis Broderick and to decide on the charges of aggravated manslaughter which carries a mandatory sentence of five to fifteen years. It is alleged by the state that on the date of July 16, 2014, the defendant, who was at the time employed by the Essex County Jail as a corrections officer, did willfully disregard standard policy of the department of corrections by using undue force on three inmates in an altercation while trying to come to the aid of a fellow officer, resulting in the subsequent death of one Nelson Caruthers, an inmate at the facility. You will hear testimony from both the state and the defense in this matter. After closing arguments I will then instruct  you as to the nature of these charges and what criteria you must use to consider when deciding on the outcome. Please refrain from discussing anything pertaining to this case outside this courtroom. (to district attorney) Ms. Colletti, is the state ready to proceed with their opening statement?

 


COLLETTI

We are your honor.

SWANSON

Very well, you may proceed.

 

COLLETTI

(rises and faces the Jury)

Thank you, your honor. Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, we are here today to decide on the fate of Francis X Broderick, who, as you heard the judge state, was a corrections officer at the Essex county jail. That he came to the aid of a fellow officer in peril is not to be disputed here. What is in contention is the manner in which he aided this fellow officer which violated the common standard rules which govern how an officer is to react to such a situation. The standard rules of the department of corrections strictly stipulates that no undue force is to be used on an inmate at any time or in any manner when in the course of pursuing one’s normal duties. Exceptions to this rule do exist such as in the quelling of a riot when a special squad with riot gear is to be called in. In all other cases equal force is the only thing to be used on an inmate. In layman’s terms, if an inmate possessed a knife then an officer has the right to also use a knife in the performance of his duties. If however the inmate has only his bare fists, then this is all the corrections officer is allowed to use in retaliation. In the case of the defendant, the weapon he used was a heavy wooden chair which happened to be sitting in a hallway nearby. Exhibit A.

(she points to a wooden chair)

BOWERS

Objection, it has not been established by any testimony as to the weight or construction of the

chair.

SWANSON

Sustained. The jury will disregard the description of the chair.

COLLETTI

To continue, the state alleges that Mr. Broderick used this chair as a weapon to repeatedly

beat the deceased and the two other inmates into submission.

BOWERS

Objection. It has not been established as to how many blows were struck on the inmates.

 


SWANSON

Sustained. Ms. Bowers, please contain your opening remarks to contain only the established

facts.

COLLETTI

I’m sorry your honor, does the defense mean to imply that a fly swatter was used on the

victims.

BOWERS

(vehemently) OBJECTION YOUR HONOR.

SWANSON

Ms. Colletti, please refrain from conjecture for the remainder of your opening statement. The jury will disregard the last remark. (To the stenographer) Ms. Giles please strike that last remark from the record.

COLLETTI

I’m sorry your honor. Ladies and gentlemen of the Jury I have been asked to stick to only the established facts so here they are and it is on these facts that you must base your decision. Fact one. Nelson Curruthers is dead due to injuries sustained from an attack...

BOWERS

Objection.

COLLETTI

Withdrawn. From an altercation with the defendant. Fact two. The defendant, against departmental policy, used a weapon, in this case a chair, to strike the defendant. Fact three, the use of this weapon was in clear violation of specific guidelines against such use of force. Now I am sure you might hear the defense argue that due to his young age and inexperience he should not be held accountable for his actions. But the defendant, despite his age, was fully trained and was well aware of all departmental regulations. There are rules for what he should have done in such a situation. Those rules state that when he comes to the aid of a fellow officer who is outnumbered he has certain protocols and options. The protocol is he pushes a button on a device which every correction officer carries to alert a supervisor and the riot squad. He then has two options. The first option is to do nothing and wait for the riot squad to arrive. The second, if he chooses to place himself in harm’s way, is to come to the aid of his fellow officer using only equal force to what he observes the inmates to be using. In this case it was bare fists. Nowhere is it stipulated that he may intervene in any other way. That is the rule and this rule was violated! It doesn’t make exceptions for how long the altercation has been going on or how badly his fellow officer looks like he is being beaten. It does not matter that the defendant may not have meant to kill Nelson Curruthers. He is not being tried for first degree murder but to the lesser charge of aggravated manslaughter. It may not seem fair to you but this rule was implemented for a specific reason. It is not your job to interpret the rule,

 


but to act on the merits of the rule itself. In that case it is undisputable that for disregarding the rule, no matter what his reasoning, he must be punished. When the judge charges you after the closing statements you are going to hear a lot about the defendant’s intent. The judges charging a jury is something you seldom see on television or in the movies because the burden of proof on the prosecution is so acute that after you hear the charge most juries are left confused about intent of the accused to such an extent that it’s a wonder that anyone in America ever gets convicted of anything. But I am telling you that intent has nothing to do with what happened in this case. It was a cut and dried violation of a rule. And even if intent was a factor. I intend to show you that this was not a quick, knee jerk reaction but a malicious attack. Thank you.

SWANSON

Thank you, Ms. Colletti. Ms. Bowers, is the defense ready to proceed with opening statement?

BOWERS

Yes your honor.

SWANSON

Very well. You may proceed.

BOWERS

(As she rises to address the jury)

Thank you, your honor.... Members of the Jury, my name is Pamela Bowers, I was appointed by the court to represent the defendant, Francis X Broderick, in this case. Why is he not being represented by a more prominent attorney, maybe one hired by funds from the court officers’ union...

COLLETTI

Objection. The defendant’s choosing of council is irrelevant to the case.

BOWERS

Your honor if I may respond to this objection?

SWANSON

I will hear where you are going with this...

BOWERS

Your honor, I am trying to establish that the defendant nor his family have the monetary capability of hiring a prominent criminal attorney and in a case of this magnitude the defendant’s union, for reason of conflict of interest and because of his short tenure on the job, does not allow for any monetary legal assistance.

COLLETTI

 


I maintain my objection that this has no relevance to the case.

SWANSON

Sustained. The manner and choosing of defense council in this case is not relevant. The fact that he has counsel however, is. The jury will disregard the last statement. (to stenographer) Please strike the last statement from the record. (to Bowers) You may proceed Ms. Bowers.

BOWERS

Thank you, your honor. (to Jury) For whatever reason, I am a court appointed attorney representing the defendant Francis Broderick. Now the state has alleged that Mr. Boderick, a rookie corrections officer with less than three months of service, deliberately took action to help a fellow officer against departmental rules. The defense concedes this point. It is our argument that Mr. Broderick took this action not deliberately, but out of a split-second reflex action which is taught in the police academy! That is, to come to the aid of not only a fellow officer but to any citizen who is in a life-threatening position. In this case Frank Broderick was coming onto his shift to relieve the assaulted officer, one Juan Ramirez, whom you will hear testimony from shortly. Mr. Broderick came upon a scene where he saw a fellow officer being pummeled by three inmates in a confined space where they could not be observed by other officers. Frank Broderick did not know how long his colleague was being beaten or the extent of his injuries, only that if he didn’t act quickly officer Ramirez may have been beaten to death before the riot squad got there. Frank Broderick shouldn’t be on trial for murder, he should be given a medal for saving a fellow officers life!

COLLETTI

Objection, your honor. Defense council is drawing a conclusion.

SWANSON

Objection sustained.

 

BOWERS

The defense also intends to provide a time line of how long Mr. Ramirez was being beaten by his three assailants until Officer Broderick arrived on the scene. This will be established by videotaped surveillance of Officer Ramirez escorting inmate Baily from the corridor to the hallway in question, followed by officer Broderick coming to his assistance, and finally, the riot squad arriving. Ladies and gentlemen, I ask you to consider this. The state has charged the defendant with a charge of either second degree murder or manslaughter, the lesser of which carries a ten-year mandatory jail sentence. You might as well be sentencing him to death because that’s what usually happens when a policeman has to serve jail time. Hey maybe some crooked cops deserve what they get, but not Frank Broderick, he certainly doesn’t deserve that for saving another cops life!

COLLETTI

(vehemently) Objection your honor! Conjecture!


 


SWANSON

Sustained. Ms. Bowers, please refrain from inflammatory conjecture on this matter. Jury

members will disregard this last statement and it will be stricken from the record.

BOWERS

My opening Statement is over your honor.

SWANSON

Very well. The State may call their first witness. Ms. Colletti.

COLLETTI

Thank you, your honor. The state wishes to call to the stand Doctor Angela Moorvees.

(all witnessed should be seated in of the gallery chairs on stage. For small venues the witnesses can be seated in the front row of the audiencethe first seat of the audience or where practical for the venue)  (Angela proceeds immediately to the stand on hearing her named called.)

SWANSON

Bailiff.

BALLIFF

The state calls Doctor Angela Moorvees to the stand.
(To Moorvees)

Please state your name and address for the record.

MOORVEES

Doctor Angela Moorvees. Mountainview, New Jersey.

BAILIFF

Please raise your right hand and repeat after me...do you swear to tell the truth so help you

God?

MOORVEES

I do.

 

BAILIFF

You may be seated.

SWANSON

You may proceed, Ms. Colletti.

COLLETTI

Doctor Moorvees, you were the attending physician on duty at the correctional facility on the

day in question. Is that correct?


 


MOORVEES

That is correct.

COLLETTI

You are presently the chief of surgery at the Essex county jail?

MOORVEES

Yes.

COLLETTI

How long have you served in the capacity of chief of surgery? And also, what is your total

tenure at the facility?

MOORVEES

I’ve been employed at the prison for sixteen years and I’ve served as chief surgeon for the past

six.

COLLETTI

And you were on duty in the prison hospital ward on the day in question?

MOORVEES

I was.

 

COLLETTI

On that day three inmates were brought into the ward after the incident took place.

MOORVEES

Yes.

COLLETTI

How would you describe their condition upon arrival?

MOORVEES

Two were ambulatory and one was unconscious.

COLLETTI

Was the unconscious one the deceased, Nelson Curruthers?

MOORVEES

Yes it was.

COLLETTI

What action did you take to treat Mr. Curruthers?

 

MOORVEESE

He was IV’d. Then hooked up to a respirator while we performed a pet scan to ascertain damage to his brain and any possible hemorrhaging. It was apparent on examination that he had sustained severe trauma from a single blow to the right side of his skull.

COLLETTI

In your opinion did this blow lead to his ultimate demise?

MOORVEES

Eventually, yes. The official cause of death was cerebral hemorrhage.

COLLETTI

What do you mean when you say eventually? How long did the deceased stay comatose before succumbing?

MOORVEES

He died two days later.

COLLETTI

And what was the condition of the other two inmates after being treated?

BOWERS

Objection, my client is not on trial for the assault on the other two inmates but only for the

accidental death of Mr. Curruthers.

COLLETTI

Your honor I object to defense council’s use of the word accidental in her objection. It has been in no way ascertained that his death was accidental.

SWANSON

Now we’re objecting to objections? Ms. Bowers your objection is overruled and the word accidental death is to be stricken from the record. The witness will answer the question as posed. Can the court stenographer please read back the last question?

GILES

Yes, your honor. Ms. Colletti...’and what was the condition of the other two inmates being

treated?”

MOORVEES

The other two inmates were treated for bruises and contusions on their heads and bodies and released back into their pod the following day.

 

 

 

 

COLLETTI

Was the traumatic head wound on the deceased consistent with that of a heavy wooden object such as is displayed by the broken chair in exhibit A?

BOWERS

Objection, your honor. Council is again describing the weight of the chair. Would it have mattered if the chair was made out of balsa wood and the defendant still expired because of a weak skull?

SWANSON

I’ll sustain that. (to Colletti) No one here is disputing that the deceased was struck on the head by a chair, that fact has been established.

COLLETTI

Thank you, your honor. I have no more questions.
(she returns to her chair)

SWANSON

Ms. Bowers, would you like to cross examine this witness?

BOWERS

I would your honor.

SWANSON

You may proceed.

BOWERS

Thank you, your honor.

(to the witness)

Doctor Moorvees, you stated that you’ve worked in the prison ward a total of sixteen years.

MOORVEES

That is correct.

BOWERS

In that time, I imagine you have seen many inmates come into the ward as a result of

altercations with both other inmates and perhaps on occasion from altercations with correction officers.

MOORVEES

Yes I have.

 

 

 

BOWERS

You also stated that the deceased succumbed to a single blow to the head.

MOORVEES

In my opinion, yes.

BOWERS

And the other two inmates that day, from the same altercation, suffered multiple blows?

MOORVEES

That is accurate.

BOWERS

Then how do you account for the fact that the inmate who suffered only a single blow died

while the other two who suffered multiple blows, were treated and released the next day?

COLLETTI

Objection. The witness is being asked to draw a conclusion

BOWERS

I’ll re-phrase. Is it consistent in your opinion that a blow, even a single blow, which connects at just the right spot and force can cause a person’s death?

MOORVEES

It has been known to happen quite regularly.

BOWERS

Is it safe to say that it even happens when a person is pushed and hits his head against

something? Or is struck with a single blow from another person’s fist?

COLLETTI

Objection. Where are we going here? As your Honor said it was already established that the victim died by a blow from a heavy object so how could any other cause of death have any relevance?

SWANSON

I’d like to know where you’re going with this Ms. Bowers.

BOWERS

Your Honor, I am tapping into the witnesses’ medical expertise to establish the fact that a single blow to the head delivered in any manner can be fatal and is not that altogether uncommon.

COLLETTI

Your Honor, in light of the fact that defense seems to be making the state’s case I will withdraw my objection and let the witness answer.

BOWERS

Thank you, Ms. Colletti, I’d be happy to assist you with any of your other cases after this trial has concluded.

MOORVEES

Can we read back the question your Honor?

SWANSON

Miss Giles, please read back the question to the witness.

GILES

Yes your honor. Ms. Bowers.... “I’ll re-phrase. Is it consistent in your opinion that a blow, even a single blow, which connects at just the right spot and force can cause a person’s death?” Witness...”It has been known to happen quite regularly.”

Ms. Bowers....”Is it safe to say that it even happens when a person is pushed and hits his head against something? Or is struck with a single blow from another person’s fist?”

 

MOORVEES

Yes. In my opinion a single blow to the head caused in any manner, a fist, a golf club or someone being pushed to the pavement and hitting their head in just the right spot, can cause immediate death from a brain aneurism.

BOWERS

I have no further questions for this witness your honor.

SWANSON

Ms. Colletti, would you like to re-cross?

COLLETTI

Not at this time your honor, Ms. Bowers seems to be doing just fine.

SWANSON

Ms. Colletti need I remind you that a man is facing significant jail time if convicted. Please keep the levity to a minimum. You may call your next witness.

COLLETTI

I apologize your honor. The state wishes to call Captain Phillip Carducci to the stand.

 

 

BALLIF

Captain Carducci, please take the stand.
(Captain Carducci approaches the stand)
State your name and address for the record.

CARDUCCI

Captain Phillip Carducci, New Springfield, New Jersey.

COLLETTI

Captain Carducci. You were the supervising officer on the day in question?

CARDUCCI

That is correct.

COLLETTI

And you arrived on the scene with the riot squad in answer to the distress call?

CARDUCCI

Yes.

COLLETTI

Do you recall how long it took till the riot squad arrived on the scene after the distress signal was received?

 

CARDUCCI

Not the exact time but under ten minutes.

 

COLLETTI

Ten minutes seems like a long time for the riot squad to react. How long does it usually take?

 

CARDUCCI

About six to nine minutes depending on the situation and the location of the incident.

COLLETTI

When you say about six to nine minutes. Would it be closer to six or nine?

CARDUCCI

Hard to say.

COLLETTI

Could you ever make it in less than six minutes?

CARDUCCI

Not likely.

COLLETTI

But possible?

CARDUCCI

In my estimation no.

COLLETTI

Why not?

CARDUCCI

We pride ourselves on a speedy response when a fellow officer is in trouble but there is still time involved in mustering the officers, having them darn riot gear and weapons, then actually getting to the scene.

COLLETTI

So there is no riot team already waiting and prepared at all times?

CARDUCCI

I wish that were the protocol. In that case we could probably arrive within two minutes. But the funding is not there and so any officer who is on break or on lunch hour is mandated to respond. That means they must get from where they currently are to the riot room and get their gear. That takes a few minutes.

COLLETTI

How many officers were with you when you arrived on the scene?

CARDUCCI

Initially myself and four other officers arrived on the scene. Other supporting officers arrived

shortly after.

 

COLLETTI

And when you arrived on the scene what did you see?

CARDUCCI

The defendant was assisting officer Ramirez to his feet when we arrived.

COLLETTI

And the inmates?

CARDUCCI

All three inmates were incapacitated when we arrived.

COLLETTI

How so?

BOWERS

Objection. Conjecture, Asking an opinion.

SWANSON

Sustained.

COLLETTI

Withdrawn. By your observation, where and what condition were the three inmates in?

CARDUCCI

All three were lying on the floor. One was unconscious.

COLLETTI

Was the unconscious one the deceased, Nelson Curruthers?

CARDUCCI

Yes.

 

COLLETTI

How would you describe his condition?

BOWERS

Objection.

SWANSON

Sustained.

COLLETTI

Rephrase. Captain Carducci. Did you have a chance to examine the inmates before medical

help arrived?

CARDUCCI

I did not. Protocol is to wait for the medical team to arrive.

COLLETTI

I see. No more questions.

SWANSON

Ms. Bowers, do you wish to cross examine?

BOWERS

I do your honor.

SWANSON

You may proceed.

BOWERS

Thank you, your honor....Captain Carducci, how long have you been with the department of

corrections?

 

CARDUCCI

Thirty-four years.

BOWERS

And how long have you served in a supervisory capacity?

CARDUCCI

Nineteen years.

BOWERS

In all your years in corrections is it safe to assume that you’ve been involved in a good number

of altercations with inmates both in a supervisory and non-supervisory capacity?

CARDUCCI

It is safe to say that.

BOWERS

Can you describe the physical area where the incident in question took place?

CARDUCCI

It is a small hallway that leads from the inmates’ pod to another longer hallway which leads to

other parts of the jail.

BOWERS

About how large a space?

CARDUCCI

Fifteen feet by fifteen feet.

BOWERS

And why is this hallway used?

COLLETTI

Objection. Irrelevant.

SWANSON

I’ll allow it. The witness will answer the question.

CARDUCCI

It’s used as a containment area for safety reasons. Each door to the hallway locks when either

entering with an inmate or leaving with an inmate.

 

BOWERS

And in this case the officer who was assaulted by the three inmates, Juan Ramirez, was

escorting an inmate, namely Anton Baily, back to his pod from another area of the jail.

CARDUCCI

That is correct.

BOWERS

Where was the inmate coming from?

COLLETTI

Objection. Irrelevant.

BOWERS

This is very relevant.

SWANSON

Where are you going here Ms. Bowers?

BOWERS

Your honor, my client is on trial here for an incident that probably should have never taken

place in the first place. I would like to establish the motive for the incident taking place.

SWANSON

I’ll allow it. You may answer the question Captain.  Where was the inmate coming from?

CARDUCCI

Mr. Baily was being escorted back to the pod after his bail hearing.

BOWERS

And was bail set for the defendant?

COLLETTI

Objection. Your honor, I maintain that the reason the incident took place is totally irrelevant and not germane to the case. What is relevant is that an incident DID take place, for whatever reason. All Ms. Bowers is trying to do is discredit the inmates involved in the incident.

 

BOWERS

I’m discrediting a drug dealer and alleged murderer?

 

COLLETTI

(vehemently and out of her seat) OBJECTION YOUR HONOR!

SWANSON

Sustained. The jury will disregard that last remark.

COLLETTI

Your honor I wish you to address to the Jury the difference between county jail, where this incident took place, and state or federal prison. Many of these inmates are not convicted of anything but are awaiting trial.

SWANSON

Well I’ve never heard of a District attorney sticking up for an inmate before but it’s a valid point. (to Jury) The county jail is for people who have been arrested and are awaiting trial or bail. In many cases they have not yet been convicted of a crime although there are some cases where they have been convicted but because the sentences are under a year, they serve their time in the jail instead of being assigned to a prison, where everyone has been convicted.

BOWERS

Your honor, I think the court is compelled to also add that many of the inmates in county jail

are repeat offenders and have committed serious crimes in the past.

SWANSON

Suffice it to say that if you are in jail you’re usually not a boy scout but there have been cases of innocent people being arrested and people who have committed non-violent crimes and civil contempt of court also being held.

COLLETTI

(impassioned)

Your honor as to that subject I want it read into the record that the deceased, Mr. Nelson

Curruthers, was being incarcerated for civil contempt of court on a family court bench warrant.

In other words he is dead today because he missed a child support payment.

BOWERS

(just as impassioned)

No he is dead from a tragic accident which resulted from him being one of three inmates who

were assaulting an officer!

SWANSON

(Banging her gavel) Okay that’s enough from both of you! I’m calling for a five-minute recess!

Both attorneys approach the bench!



BLACKOUT

ACT 1, Scene 2
Lights up

SWANSON

Ladies and gentlemen, I am allowing into the record the official arrest reports of the three

inmates in question who participated in the assault of Officer Juan Ramirez. The Baliff will pass this information to jurors when time permits so they may familiarize themselves…..As for the question posed to captain Carducci from miss Bowers, I will allow it. Ms. Giles, please read back the question.

 

GILES

Yes your honor. Ms. Bowers. “Where was the inmate coming from?”

Mr Carducci: Mr. Baily was being escorted back to the pod after his bail hearing.

Miss bowers: And was bail set for the defendant?

 

SWANSON

Your answer Captain Carducci?

CARDUCCI

I believe his bail was denied your honor.

SWANSON

You may continue with your cross Ms. Bowers.

BOWERS

Captain, as you were waiting for medical aid did you have a chance to question Officer’s

Broderick or Ramirez?

CARDUCCI

I did.

 

BOWERS

What did you ask of whom?

COLLETTI

(Reticent to the fact it will be likely overruled) Objection.

SWANSON

Overruled.

CARDUCCI

I asked what happened.

BOWERS

To whom?

CARDUCCI

The question was addressed to both officers involved.

BOWERS

Who responded and what did they say?

CARDUCCI

Officer Ramirez responded that he was getting the shit kicked out of him and Officer Broderick

saved his life.

COLLETTI

Objection your honor, hearsay and conjecture.

BOWERS

Your honor, the question goes directly to the witness’s testimony. He asked a question and it was answered. Was it hearsay and conjecture that three inmates were beating up Officer Ramirez? I think that fact has been clearly established or else the case can be dismissed right now because my client would have no motive for committing the act in question.

SWANSON

The objection is overruled.

COLLETTI

It still remains a third-party comment that can be construed as hearsay. Must I quote the many

cases upholding this?

BOWERS

Fine, I withdraw the question. When I call Mr. Ramirez to the stand I’m sure we will hear the

same answer directly from him.

COLLETTI

Objection your honor. Conjecture! The defense attorney should not be embellishing her

answers for dramatic effect.

SWANSON

Sustained. Miss Bowers, I advise you to follow protocol and kept the embellishment to a

minimum.

BOWERS

I’m sorry your honor. Too many drama classes in high school and college.



SWANSON

Well for the remainder of the trial please keep the theatrics out of the courtroom and contain it

to the  theatre stage where it belongs.

COLLETTI

Thank you, your honor.

SWANSON

Do you have any other questions for this witness?

BOWERS

Not at this time your honor.

SWANSON

Ms. Colletti, would you like to cross?

COLLETTI

Yes your honor.... Captain Carducci, can you explain to the jury the protocol when an incidence

such as the one that took place on the day in question occurs?

CARDUCCI

Whenever a corrections officer is assaulted and needs help, he is equipped with a panic button

which alerts the riot squad. He is to defend himself as best he can until help arrives.

COLLETTI

As was established in opening statements, a corrections officer normally carries no weapon or

form of protection?

CARDUCCI

That is correct.

COLLETTI

Can you explain to the Jury why?

CARDUCCI

It’s actually for the protection of the guards. Normally they are outnumbered by inmates. If they were carrying weapons then the inmates could conceivably overwhelm the C.O.s and gain control of the weapons.

COLLETI

Would you explain what the term C.O. means?

 

 

CARDUCCI

A C.O. is short term nomenclature meaning corrections officer.

COLLETI

And if a c.o. were overwhelmed, besides pushing the panic button, is he allowed to use

anything else within his reach to defend himself?

CARDUCCI

Ms. Colletti that’s a moot point. Normally in an area such as the hallway where this took place, there is nothing the C.O. could have used to help himself. That’s the whole point. Anything he might have been able to defend himself against the inmates could also be used on him by the same inmates. That’s true of anywhere in the jail where the inmates outnumber the correction officers.

COLLETI

Captain, what disciplinary action was taken by the county jail against Officer Broderick as a

result of this incident?

BOWERS

Objection your honor. Irrelevant and prejudicial.

SWANSON

Overruled. The witness may answer the question.

 

CARDUCCI

Mr. Broderick was placed on modified duty and shortly thereafter dismissed form the

department.

COLLETTI

No further questions.

SWANSON

Ms. Bowers, would you like to re-cross?

BOWERS

Yes your honor.

SWANSON

Proceed.

BOWERS

Captain Carducci. Why didn’t Officer Ramirez push the panic button when he was first attacked? Why did it take C.O. Broderick happening on the scene after a routine shift change to push the panic button?