Saturday, March 16, 2013

Impeachment Basics: Impeachment by Contradiction Example

Last week, I discussed the steps of an impeachment by contradiction. Below is an example of that impeachment procedure in practice.

Example Impeachment by Contradiction Dialogue
Attorney: “The sky was blue, wasn’t it?”
Witness: “No, it was green.”
Attorney: “Is it your testimony today that the sky was green?”
Witness: “Yes, the sky was green.”
Attorney: “You gave a statement prior to trial today, correct?”
Witness: “Yes.”
Attorney: “You knew it was important to tell the truth in that statement, didn’t you?”
Witness: “I did.”
Attorney: “You were under oath, weren’t you?”
Witness: “Yes, I was.”
Attorney: “You had every opportunity until trial today to revise and update that statement, didn’t you?”
Witness: “I did.”
Attorney: “Your Honor, may I approach opposing counsel?” [judge nods] “I am now showing opposing counsel the witness’s affidavit. I will be referring to line 19.” [approaches and shows opposing counsel] “May I approach the witness?” [judge nods] “I am now handing the witness the same document.” [hands the witness the affidavit and returns to previous position] “This is the statement we were just discussing, isn’t it?”
Witness: “It is.”
Attorney: “It’s a true and accurate copy of your statement, isn’t it?”
Witness: “Yes, it is.”
Attorney: “Your signature is on the last page, isn’t it?”
Witness: “That is my signature on the last page.”
Attorney: “Please turn to line 19 and read along silently as I read aloud: ‘The sky was blue.’ That’s what it says, isn’t it?”
Witness: “Yes, it is.”
Attorney: “May I approach the witness to retrieve the document?” [judge nods and attorney retrieves the document. The attorney then returns to their position in the courtroom and picks up the questioning on the question after the question they impeached over.]

Next week, I’ll cover the steps of the second type of impeachment, impeachment by omission.

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