October 29, 2013

January 1990 - Let's Be Particularly Careful

From Robert F. Alexander of Houston, this testimony from a cocaine possession trial before a jury and Judge Miron Love (177th District Court, Harris County). The cocaine was allegedly found by the jail officer/witness during a "routine inventory search"; on cross, Robert is trying to establish that this "client was quite sober during his search."

Q. So my question once again is, with regard to whether or not he had been drinking, do you have an opinion as to whether he was heavily intoxicated, mildly intoxicated or stone sober?

A. I do not have an opinion on that, sir.

Q. Do you think if he had been falling down drunk, you would have noticed?

A. I'm sure I would have.

Q. And do you think if he had a strong odor of alcohol about his breath, you would have noticed?

A. No. I can't smell.

Q. (With Disbelief) You can't smell?

A. No, sir.

Q. No kidding?

A. No kidding. [Pause — then question from defense counsel, now with genuine concern and empathy.]

Q. Is that for like all the time?A. Well, it has to be a very, very, very strong odor for me to be able to smell.

Q. I'm sorry to hear that.

A. Working in the jail, sometimes it's an advantage.