Dream of: 09 February 1986 "Murder Trial"

I was in judge Schwille's court where I was planning to go to trial on a case. Pruitt (a Dallas attorney) was my partner; together we were preparing to prosecute a murder case. The defendant, a young boy about 15 years old, was accused of murdering a girl younger than himself and then stabbing her body over 40 times with the jagged edge of a broken bottle. The body had been so mutilated after all the cuts that it had hardly been identifiable as a body; it had simply been a bloody mess. I tried to imagine what it would have been like to have stabbed someone 40 times.

The trial began; the two lawyers on the other side began asking many questions. I was confidently thinking how easy it was going to be to prosecute the fellow; but it suddenly struck me that the questions the other two lawyers were asking weren't defensive, but rather prosecutorial in nature.

I spoke to Pruitt for a moment and suddenly realized we weren't the prosecutors – we were actually the defense lawyers! I needed to completely change my stance on the case and try to figure out some way to defend this person.

The prosecutors continued asking questions until around 1 o'clock, when we recessed. I walked over to talk with the defendant, who was sitting on the witness stand. I hadn't spoken to him before and now realized how utterly unprepared I was to try the case. I began asking some questions; I wanted to know if anyone else had been present at the murder.

I realized the girl had been killed in a stairway in a building next to the house in which the boy had been living. I quickly went to the location of the murder and began examining it. I encountered a woman who first showed me where the murder had taken place on the stairway and then showed me where the boy lived. It turned out the boy actually lived in the same building where the stairway was – but a passageway divided his abode from the stairway.

I looked into the boy's bedroom, which seemed normal. It had wooden floors and wooden walls and looked rather old-fashioned, but clean and kept-up. I gathered up as much information as I could and headed back to the courtroom – the case would be resuming soon. I needed to start asking the boy some good defense questions.

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