Thursday, July 26, 2012

Guilty on both counts

Guilty on manslaughter and driving w/o license. Sentencing scheduled for a later date.

Thanks to everyone for your support. I know this isn't exactly a happy occasion but we can finally exhale a bit knowing somebody has been held responsible and that this was not just an accident. We will never get back what has been stripped away from us.


P.S. A special thanks to the DA Michael Maffei. I can say for sure that without him we would not have this outcome. He "rescued a turd" as my father has repeatedly said. After a series of incomprehensibly inept people on this case Mike stepped in just four weeks ago and performed a miracle on what we had been previously told would be a "slam dunk case." Mike was also extremely personable frequently asking how we were and even for input. A far cry from being told "get over it" just a few months ago by an earlier DA. Thank you Mike.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wednesday (7/25): Waiting

No verdict today.

The DA warned us ahead of time to not read into ANYTHING including the amount of time it takes or the questions the jurors ask the judge during their deliberations. They are allowed to ask for law/rule clarifications. They can also ask for specific testimony to be played/read back.

The jurors asked for playback from two eye witnesses. Again, we can speculate all day (and trust me we have) but we just don't know what questions they have and what that may mean for the verdict. It is safe to say that the longer this drags out the more likely there is someone hung up. But just because they took at least one full day doesn't mean it's going to be hung. In fact they may just be diligently going over every piece of testimony and all of the evidence as they should.

They start again tomorrow morning and hopefully we will hear back. I am getting sick of this holiday inn and this goddamn city.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Please Check Out This Website!

Within weeks of Drew's death my father began researching traffic statistics, specifically those related to unlicensed drivers. What he found was shocking. It expands the scope of this whole thing from one individual to you, me, and everybody. Regardless of your political or social views it is worth checking out the facts and realizing what is going on. It might shock you as it has my family. 

Please check out this website my father has been working on. It is not quite finished and a bit rough around the edges, but please bookmark it.

My family would greatly appreciate it.



NOTE: The following are my thoughts and observations about the trial from beginning to end. Much of this is from memory as I did a poor job of keeping physical notes of the trial. Everything from the first week was written after-the-fact. I caught up on Monday which explains the change of verb tense. Much of this is stream of conscious which explains the grammar and spelling errors.

I will attempt to be as unbiased and unemotional as possible…but that will be impossible. In fact, my bias and personal opinion become more and more evident as this trial goes on. It is not something I can hope to correct for, but I feel a little better establishing it right here, right now. Have I presumed the defendant to be guilty before the trial even started? Yes. Will any of the testimony change my mind on that fact? No. All those things aside, I think this is a pretty fair account of how things transpired from the perspective of the victim’s brother who is relegated to sitting in the audience and watching the trial unfold. I suspect that many of you may understand how I feel.

If you have any questions or would like clarification please don't hesitate to ask me. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday (7/16): Pre-Trial Motions

Although we were not present, we learned that the judgewould not allow Galo’s previous driving record as evidence. Under a certainsection of the California Criminal Code (Rules of Evidence Section 1101 A &B), this type of evidence would be considered prejudicial because it wouldunfairly weigh upon the defendant. While this makes sense in some cases, itclearly makes no sense in this one. Why would somebody’s previous drivingrecord be inadmissible in a case involving a traffic collision? Driving is ahabitual thing and previous mistakes on the road seem all but irrelevant. InJune of 2010, Galo was arrested for driving without a license, operating a car withoutproper insurance, and driving the wrong way down a one-way street in SanFrancisco. The first two charges, misdemeanors, were dropped and he pleadedguilty to the wrong way charge, an infraction. His car was impounded, but hesigned the car over to a Ms. Guzman who retrieved it from the impound andimmediately gave the keys back to Galo (which is illegal to do). A few monthslater he killed Drew, but none of that would be allowed in the trial. Even thefact that he is unlicensed is not allowed to be considered for the secondcharge Galo now faces: vehicular manslaughter. The first charge is drivingwithout a license.  

Tuesday(7/17): Jury Selection

My father and I arrived in San Francisco around noon andmade it to the courthouse around 2 pm or so. We stepped into the courtroom at arather interesting time. The attorneys were in the midst of voir dire-ing thejury (assessing whether or not these people were suitable to be jurors; thereare many reasons why one would not be asked to be a juror for a trial). Ourentrance was rather abrupt, but we took our seats and watched the processcontinue for a few more hours. There were some strange people summoned and askedto leave. One person said they had had bad experiences with police and would bebiased against them. Another person had witnessed a gruesome traffic accident.One generally normal looking man, when asked about his profession, prefaced hisanswer with “well its kinda a long story…” He continued, “I serve as a privatehealer for one individual… a shaman of sorts.” Good-bye.

After a long, seemingly repetitive process, we had our 12jurors plus 2 alternates. There was little to judge from looking at thesepeople, and some had already been through the voir dire process before we gotthere. Unlike the attorneys, we did not have a large bi-fold manila folder with14 sticky notes about each person, so again, it was really tough to read thesepeople and determine if any of them would prove difficult.
Two things stood out to me during this process. One was thatthis was fascinatingly bizarre. It is almost like a triple-layer conveyor belt,with a shape on each layer that the jurors must fit through in order to pass tothe next layer. By the time you get to the final layer you have weeded out all(or at least some) of the bias and shamanism. The second thing that stood outto me, almost immediately due to the timing of certain questions, was howconfused the potential jurors were regarding the licensing issue. They wereasked, unaware of the details of the trial, how they felt about somebodydriving without a license and whether they would be able to “unmarry” this with“the rules of the road.” The jurors, as did I, seemed extremely confused. “Isn’tthat the rule of the road?” inquiredone person. The group laughed, but the judge insisted, “But setting that aside,could you just think about what the rules of the road are and whether thosehave been broken?” A philosophical conversation regarding the privilege-ness ofdriving ensued, but the tone had been set. Galo, who had refused to get alicense for the entirety of his stay in the United States, would not have toworry about that fact coming up during his trial.

Wednesday (7/18): Opening Statements, Prosecution’s 1st Witnesses

Before the opening statements, the judge gave instructionsto the jurors. They were long and repetitive: don’t talk to anyone about thetrial, don’t form an opinion until you have heard all of the evidence, avoidwitnesses and others involved in the trial. All of these things would be hardfor anyone to do. Finally, both attorneys made opening statements. The DA’s wasbrief and not flashy. He quickly ran through the evidence that would show Galomade an unsafe turn at an intersection, resulting in the death of a young manon a motorcycle. The public defender (PD) made a more emotional appeal to thejury. This “tragic incident” was merely “an accident.” Galo, along with hiswife and two kids were on their way to “good parenting class to learn how to begood parents.” Considering an 8-10 year old would show up to court with thewife a few days later, I seriously doubt this class was voluntary. Who goes togood parenting class 8 years into being a parent just for the hell of it?

The first witness took the stand and proceeded to explainhis perspective of the incident. He sat at the intersection on 16thStreet due East and got a pretty good view of the collision. Galo came in onhis right while Drew was heading down Harrison on his left.  He testified that he saw Galo entering theintersection “at a pretty good speed” and without the courtesy of a blinkerbegan to make a sharp, unprotected left -- right into the path of Drew and his bike. He then testified that heimmediately ran out of the car, yelling at Galo to stop because there wassomebody under his car. With the help of others at the scene, he lifted the carwhile his wife, who would testify next, pulled Drew out from under the car. Whatwas clear from his testimony was that Galo made an unsafe turn without regard tooncoming traffic.

The second witness gave testimony that was much moreriveting. She would refer to Drew by his name and not as “the victim.” Thismade it hard for me, my father, and Drew’s friends who were present to hear. Wehad to hope that feeling of personality was shared by the jurors as well. Thiswoman was with the first witness and saw a little bit less of the actualcollision. What she lacked in initial observation she more than made up for indetail about what happened next. Having advanced training in CPR among otherthings, she told the jury she had a legal obligation to assist somebody inmedical need. She rushed out of the car screaming and ran around Galo’s car,banging on it with her hands to get them to stop moving. She got under the car,afraid for her own life because Galo hadn’t completely stopped yet, to helpDrew. The car was lifted and she pulled Drew out from under it (noting that shetook precaution in case of spinal injury). She assessed Drew and stayed withhim until the paramedics arrive. In more detailed terms, she indicated that sheknew at the time he was not in good condition but stayed with him nonetheless.A small aside from this summary – this woman is an absolute saint among certainevil. She even at one point said, “I felt like I knew Drew.” Her testimonyalong with her fiancĂ©e’s was strong and set the pace for the rest of the week.   

A third witness, a young woman who was standing on a cornerat the intersection, gave strong testimony as well. She indicated much of thesame story. Drew was well into the intersection while Galo made absolutely noattempt to stop, slow down, or turn with any care at all. He also had noheadlights or turn signals on. According to her the car may have even sped intothe intersection, perhaps to beat the yellow light. This poor woman couldbarely get through her own testimony without choking up. A fourth witness wasriding a bicycle heading in the same direction as Drew. He indicated that hehad been keeping pace with Drew for at least two blocks, meaning Drew could nothave possibly been speeding. While his story of the incident was slightlydifferent (a large SUV obstructed most of his view of the collision), histestimony didn’t seem confusing or contradicting. At any rate, nothing came outthat would place any fault on Drew ordetract any fault from Galo.

In fact, every piece of testimony heard so far indicatedthat Galo was at fault. It was emotional and even disturbing at times, but forour case at least it seemed that everything was going smoothly. During crossexaminations the PD only made his case worse. His method of questioning waspoor. He asks questions in a painfully slow manner, to the point where you haveforgotten what the entire question was by the time he’s reached the end.Witnesses repeatedly asked him to repeat or clarify his grammar error riddenquestions and some replied very condescendingly. 

Thursday (7/19): Prosecution Continues

Prosecution called a detective who had diagrammed the scene.He used skid marks, photos, and witness testimony to reconstruct what hadhappened. He testified that Drew had “captured the intersection,” a term thatis closely related to right-of-way. Drew was further in the intersection and had right-of-way when the collisionoccurred. Due to the length of skid marks, it was clear that Drew reacted toGalo turning in his way and attempted to stop.

After we broke for lunch the PD began his cross. Heattempted to debunk the testimony and only succeeded in making himself looklike a fool. He brought out an easel and attempted to draw a simplified diagramof two cars entering an intersection with varying parameters such as speed,angle, and who entered first. The officer quickly put the PD down, insistingthat if two cars entered an intersection, regardless of parameters, they shouldpass each other safely. The PD continued to simplify the situation. Now therewere only two objects heading towardseach other. But the PD had clearly lost his steam and never got anywhere closeto making a coherent point, let alone manufacturing doubt about the officer’stestimony. He only succeeded in putting the jury to sleep and scribbling on theeasel with different color markers. Almost felt bad for the guy. 

Friday (7/20): Prosecution Rests, Defense 1st Witness

The prosecution rested and the defense called their firstwitness, an investigator working with the public defender’s office. This manhad interviewed the witnesses on his own and came up with a report summarizinghis findings. The only thing addressed during this witness’s testimony was inregards to his interview with the prosecution’s first witness, the man in thecar who witnessed the collision. The PD’s line of questioning seemed strange tous… it was hard to follow exactly where he was going with it. It appeared hewas trying to get the investigator to read through transcripts of hisconversation with the first witness and eventually contradict what that firstwitness had testified days earlier. Instead, all the PD succeeded in doing was toreinforce and even heighten the damaging testimony that the first witness hadprovided on Wednesday. Some of it was absolutely damning, but two things reallystood out in my mind. The PD asked the investigator about the demeanor of thewitness and asked him if he seemed angry with the defendant. The investigatorresponded, quoting from his notes what the first witness had told him monthsearlier: “This was murder. He might as well have shot him with a .357 magnum.”I looked around at the people sitting next to me in disbelief that the publicdefender had sequestered from his own witness this kind of testimony. The DAsat back and let it ride. The investigator continued (why the PD didn’t stophim is beyond me) to read from the report. I don’t remember the exact wording,but in essence he said: “Mr. [1st Witness] told me, “what reallystruck me was how little he seemed to care for Drew after running him over.””Not only did the PD succeed in admitting damaging testimony for the case, buthe also lost all potential sympathy points for the defendant. He looked like acomplete and utter asshole. Galo fucked up the unprotected turn by going whenhe shouldn’t have and never displayed any concern for what he had done.Meanwhile, people who had nothing to do with the incident were rushing to thescene to help.
The DA dug the knife in deeper and continued to solicit moreof the investigators findings because the PD had opened up the testimony byasking him a variety of questions related to his interviews. The DA tookadvantage of this and reamed the investigator. He got him to testify to evenmore damaging things about the nature of the accident and Galo’s lack ofregard. By the end of the day it seemed as if the defense was in a deep hole.Not a single thing had transpired that suggested that Drew was at fault, and almostall of the testimony placed blame on Galo. Even things that the PD tried tointroduce proved damaging to his own case.

Keeping in mind that all 12 jurors needed to be fairlyconvinced of Galo’s negligence, neither my father nor I held high expectationsabout the chance for conviction. Much of this is related to the general lack offairness and extreme degree of ineptitude that my family had been dealing withfor the previous year and a half.  Givenall of these things, we did not expect much to come of the case. More of thatis available on my father’s website, since it is somewhat (and I say thatlightly) outside of the scope of this particular trial. BUT, things had beengoing so well for our case that it seemed we may get a conviction. But therewas much more to come next week, including the defense’s evidence andwitnesses. 

Monday (7/23): Defense Rests

Things did not go well today. At all. Without going intonecessary detail, the defense elicited absurd testimony that suggested Drew wasimpaired at the time of the collision. It was completely ludicrous and shouldhave had no bearing on the evidence or the case given the charges. Anynegligence on Drew’s part would have to outweigh the negligence on the part ofthe defendant since he was the one on trial. Considering there hadn’t even beenany evidence or testimony that suggested Drew had done anything wrong, it seemed that offering an explanation for anon-existent wrong doing would prove futile.  The judge’s instructions would prove highlyimportant since she would be instructing the jury on what evidence they wereallowed to consider. This suggests that the testimony shouldn’t have beenallowed in the first place, but I guess since I am no expert on criminal trialsI don’t know how to explain its allowance.

I think the DA did a poor job of crossing this witness. Hehad an opportunity to lessen the blow, but that opportunity came and went as heresigned from cross-examining him. There were chances to show that thistestimony meant little and was subject to a matter of scientific probabilitythat could have been rendered minimal at best. Perhaps the DA decided it wasbest to “leave it as it lay” and rely on the judge to direct the jury to disregardthe testimony when considering the charges. This remains to be seen.

Things got much worse. The next witness, a private trafficcollision reconstructionist succeeded in changing the entire pace of the trial.Maybe this was due to the order in which the testimony was received, but all ofmy positive feelings were wiped away by the time we adjourned for the day. Usingthe police report, witness testimony, and instructions to make a case for thedefense at the request of the PD, he constructed what was the first positivetestimony for the defense. Essentially this guy was paid to use his expertiseto suggest that Galo was not at fault. He selected and modified witnesstestimony that allowed him to make certain assumptions or judgments about thescene. He then cleverly extrapolated this to counter the police’s own diagramof what had happened. His conclusions were that Galo’s actions did not causethe accident.

With the help of the PD, they reached this conclusion byconstructing a timeline of events which were based on calculations derived fromaforementioned information. However, in order to make these calculations, thereconstructionist relied on making his own assumptions about the speed, relativelocation, and reaction time of both vehicles. We had a hard time keeping quietduring this testimony. The reason for this is that these assumptions were in directcontradiction to every witness thathad previously testified. For example, this guy made the assumption Galo’s carhad stopped just before the limit line of the intersection even though alltestimony suggested he stopped way before this line or hadn’t stopped at all.The significance is that this alters the amount of time it would have takenGalo to enter the intersection and the speed at which he was traveling at thetime of the collision. Conclusions derived from these assumptions would becontingent upon further bullshit assumptions that were tailored to the defense’scase. He followed that due to Drew’s braking, his bike was traveling anywherefrom 3 to 7 MPH at the time of the collision. But when calculating the amountof time Drew had to react, brake, and collide, he assumed Drew was traveling 0MPH “to give the victim the benefit of the doubt.” The problem here is thatwhen using his formula, this would mean that Drew applied the brakes outside of the intersection and before Galo had begun to attempt histurn into Drew’s lane, taking the responsibility to yield out of Galo’s hands.His calculation utilized Drew’s average speed (deducted from his speed at timeof braking, which is yet another inferred value) and perceived reaction time of1.5 seconds (another somewhat random speculation). All of this jargon comes downto one thing: This guy, who I remind you is paid handsomely to testify for thedefense, concocted a situation in which the collision was not necessarily due to Galo’s negligence.  

One other thing that came out from this witnesses’ testimonywas also troubling for our case. The evidence, the bike and car, had been releasedfrom impound in April 2011. They were later sold. The reconstructionisttestified that he was unable to determine a number of things relating to theincident due to this fact. This does not bode well in terms of seeding doubt inthe minds of the jurors. How can somebody convict someone when the evidence isno longer available? We wanted the DA to argue that there was enough photoevidence and testimony and that it was unnecessary to go back and look at thevehicles, but there was little he could actually say to that matter. Instead,the DA brought up the timing issue, that the defense had a few months to havethis investigated. The problem was not diffused: After the cross examinations ajuror submitted a question to the judge regarding the regularity of missingevidence in a criminal trial. Lo and behold, the reconstructionist said it washighly unusual.  

Despite the glaring contradictions (maybe less so in the jurors’minds), a crack in the DA’s case was made. Again, it only takes one juror’sinability to convict for us to lose our whole case. Given what had beentestified and pretending that I was a juror who had only just learned about thecase one week prior, I can’t say how I would feel about convicting Galo. Thejurors were difficult to read, but they sure as hell didn’t seem as convincedas they appeared only last Friday.

At this point I realize that I have lost all objectivity inregards to the jurors and how the case is shaping out. I have gone from excited,even laughing about the PD and his pathetic attempt to draw circles andsquares, to completely cynical about this whole goddamn case. You may haverealized that my verb tense has come full circle and I am now speaking in thepresent. I guess this has turned into my experience more than my observations,but as you know Drew would commonly say: fuck it.

Both sides have rested their case and it now comes down totwo things which will occur tomorrow. The first are the closing arguments fromboth attorneys. I think we have a leg up on this since the PD is semi-retardedand the DA is very sharp. It depends how they spin the evidence, but I amfairly confident in the DA and his ability to deliver punches. The second andperhaps even more important thing is the judge’s instructions to the jury. Shewill instruct them on how they are to deliberate. In other words she remindsthe jurors of the charges the defendant faces and what level of doubt isacceptable in order to convict him of misdemeanor manslaughter. Theseinstructions will prove crucial to the case. Whether or not the jury heeds thisis entirely another matter. Yes, a fucked up system, but it’s the best one we’vegot. More to come. 

Tuesday (7/24): Instructions and Closing

Before I go into what happened today, I want to mention that the judge disallowed the DA from showing a picture of Drew during his closing argument. She said it would be "prejudicial." But the defendant has been allowed to parade his kids around each day of the trial presumably to win sympathy points from the jurors. Maybe they couldn't find a babysitter or whatever, but they didn't have to bring them in to the courtroom to hear about how their father hit and repeatedly ran over a person or, as one witness put it, "...murder him... with a .357 magnum." But to disallow the prosecution from simply showing a picture of the victim because THAT would be prejudicial? Totally absurd.

The Judge's instructions were largely a reminder of her initial instructions in the first day of the trial: consider all of the evidence, believe who you want to believe, and try to keep bias out of your decision. She did add parts about the crimes Galo was charged with and what needs to be shown in order for a juror to believe the crimes were committed beyond a reasonable doubt. This part is extremely important for the case because it essentially points to what evidence should be considered.. And there was a lot of evidence presented. She also defined many legal terms such as ordinary negligence and the different types of evidence.

Much of this probably went over their head. It went quickly and without a PowerPoint or something to read it must have been hard to remember the wording of the instructions. And as anyone familiar with the legal world may know, wording is everything. Luckily for us, the DA nailed his closing. It was succinct and clear cut. He laid out (in slides for the jurors to read for themselves) a checklist of things they must find to be true in order to convict Galo. The logical flow of the argument was convincing and clear: answering yes to these questions would mean you must find Galo guilty.

One part that the DA made really clear was about the causation instructions. The jury must find that the act causing death was merely a substantial factor in Drew's death, but not the only factor. If Drew had been shown to be negligent (which was never shown during the case), as long as that negligence was not a substantial factor in his death then Galo is guilty of vehicular manslaughter. And in order to prove Galo's fault the jury only has to agree that he failed to exercise reasonable caution. In other words, was he careless? The DA suggested he was. One witness testified that Galo did not use a blinker. The rest of the witnesses did not see whether he did or not because they were on the other side of the car. Witnesses testified he did not have his headlights on (although the DA never brought this up in closing). It was 5:30 pm in November, approx 30 minutes after sunset. He failed to yield to oncoming traffic, resulting in the collision. The icing on the cake, however, is that Galo was unlicensed. He put his wife and two kids in a vehicle and drove when he was not permitted to do so by law. He never took a driving test, written test, or eye exam that all of us are required to do before we get behind a wheel. This is careless and dangerous and alone should be enough to convict Galo. Failure to yield or use a blinker certifies this man as a bad driver.

The DA addressed the defense witnesses that testified yesterday. He mentioned that they contradicted each other. According to one, Drew was impaired so he was slower to react, but according to the other he reacted too fast, applying the break because he wasn't going to make the light, and skidded into the intersection. (Remind you that the skid marks did not begin until at least a few feet into the intersection).

Finally, the DA closed by attacking the one defense witness who tried to place the blame on Drew. This man was the paid reconstructionist whose income depends on his ability to return favorable results for his clients. He is the only witness with an obvious bias or motive. In the words of the DA, he "cherry picked" the eyewitness testimony to fit his opinion of what happened. As I mentioned before, he even made assumptions that were in direct contradiction of all of the witnesses testimony. The DA did not mention this, but he was also a complete asshole, grinning and smirking throughout his testimony. The DA finished his closing with a set of strong sentences. He mentioned that the defense was calling this an accident, yet there was nothing accidental about anything Galo did that day. It was not an accident that he got in the car without a license. It was not an accident that he forgot to put his blinker, nor was it an accident that he failed to yield to oncoming traffic. These were careless mistakes that resulted in the death of Drew Rosenberg.

After lunch the PD offered his closing. He began by saying that he overheard somebody (a juror?) muttering "game over" after the DA finished. "This is not a game. There are no winners or losers," replied the PD. Well, I can think of at least one loser and he is not in the courtroom. He then moved to the burden of proof, how the prosecution must make their case and leave no unanswered questions or else Galo cannot be convicted. He picked up a sheet of paper which had questions submitted from a juror and slammed in to the ground. Ironically, that sheet of paper had written on it a few of some crucial unanswered questions! One asked if Galo had any previous driving convictions. The answer, which would be inadmissible in court due to aforementioned reasons, would have been "yes."

The PD then showed a powerpoint of his laughable diagrams. These diagrams had been filled in by each eyewitness. When viewed together, they appeared to show inconsistencies. There were slightly different markings for where Drew was, where Galo was, and what the light at the intersection was. Of course you will have slight inconsistencies... these are diagrams (which are utterly disproportional to the actual intersection) and you are asking them to pinpoint positions over 18 months later. Their testimony, which matched what they gave to police at the scene, however, was clear. It didn't matter that they couldn't all agree where exactly the crash occurred on a misleading diagram. This was the beginning of a long line of very weak arguments laid out by the PD in an attempt to confuse the jury and inject doubt in their minds.

The PD began attacking each eyewitness directly. He claimed the first witness was emotionally biased against Galo. He was angry that he "couldn't control the situation," so the jury should ignore his testimony. According to the PD, the witness stated two confusing things: Galo was trying to flee the scene, but he remained in his car well after the crash. The PD shrugged, "does that make any sense?" Yes it does. He was trying to flee in the car which is why he ran over drew twice. Once he realized he couldn't move because Drew was under the car and his helmet was lodged into one of the wheel wells, he remained in the car.

The PD moved onto the diagramming officer. "He was very hostile towards... me." Aww, must be very tough to deal with, sir. "He refused to answer my simple questions." The PD was referring to the questions he asked him about two objects entering the an intersection at the same speeds, etc. I wanted to stand up and shout, "He couldn't answer them because you are a geometrically challenged moron!" And how does this refute his testimony anyway?

The PD continued onto his "hired gun," the reconstructionist. He mentioned that assuming Drew was traveling at 0 MPH at time of impact was "in his favor." Assuming those numbers was only in favor of his own analysis. Taking it as fact, then, would mean Drew was at 0 MPH and Galo was only going 11 MPH. Why didn't he stop? And why would Drew fly forward if he was stopped? It makes no sense because those numbers are arbitrarily arrived at.

The PD wanted to confuse the jury about the turn signal issue. One witness (who was looking at the right side of the car where there would be no blinker) testified that he knew Galo was making a left, and presumed so "possibly because of a blinker." He knew Galo was making a left because he was sitting at the intersection when it was green. He either didn't see the green or was waiting for oncoming traffic to stop so he could make a left. Finally, the PD went back to his reconstructionist. He insisted that Drew was applying the brakes not because of Galo's turn but because he saw a yellow and didn't think he would make it through the intersection. He then posited that maybe Drew saw a red and then panic braked, ending up in the intersection. Assuming the nifty timeline invented by the reconstructionist is in fact true, then that means Galo also entered the intersection even later in the red.

The PD finished with another emotional appeal. But this it stung us bad. He went over to Galo's shoulder and said how devastating this had been for him, that he has had to deal with this for over a year and a half. "Any of us could have been in this situation." I don't know how my dad and I kept calm, but I did notice the judge glanced at me. She may have been waiting for us to erupt, but I think she was saying to me "wow."

The DA got a chance to rebut and get some last words in. He did a good job doing so, reminding the jury of the relatively low standard required of them to convict Galo. We were not asking the jury to have no doubt. That is impossible. But they must reject that feeling that there could be some minuscule doubt. I have to say today ended with both of us feeling much better about the case. Expectations still managed, we had a shot. A few of the jurors were clearly on our side. It was up to them to convince the hold outs.