Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Order In The Court

Today the Constitutional Law course was able to witness a testimony at New York’s District Court. The trial was a criminal trial, a RECO trial to be specific, dealing with sex and drug trafficking in addition to a laundry list of other charges. The testimony from the government’s witness was interesting for two reasons. First off, the witness doesn’t understand English so a translator was needed which slowed the process down. Secondly, I was intrigued by the line of questions from the prosecution, the government. The attorney asked the witness to tell his story about how he became close with a head of a gambling business, and the roles of the major players. He would then ask what would happen if one had to borrow money to play cards and what would happen if one didn’t. The witness used a personal story where he claimed that a man placed a knife against his body and asked why he hasn’t paid yet. The defense immediately used this against the man by quoting what the witness said to FBI investigators. Acoording to the record, the man claimed that a knife was “placed against his neck”, however in his testimony today, he failed to mention to. The defense attorney used this to try and prove that his story was inconsistent. I thought the defense had a great lead and were going to make the testimony look useless, but the attorney spent the next thirty minutes until the judge had to stop him for lunch to learn how to play a card game that the witness plays and how the operation makes money…which I didn’t understand.

After that we left the court and headed back to Columbia where I relaxed in Butler library until it was time for our cruise around Manhattan. Our cohort headed to Times Square to meet up with not only Mrs. L. but administrator Mrs. Kronenberg as well. I was truly looking forward to the cruise because, I’ve always wanted to sail in a boat and I wanted to see the sunset as we passed Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.

Brooklyn Bridge
Manhattan "Concrete Jungle"

The cruise was amazing. Not only did we get to talk to Mrs. Kronenberg about how our class is going, but we got to relax and take in the beautiful sunset. Our timing couldn’t have been better. As we turned around on the East River near the U.N. building, the sun was setting between the buildings of the concrete jungle, better known as New York City.

Empire State Building

As we circled around the Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty, the sky was full of brilliant colors. This was a day to remember!

The Statue Of Liberty
Liberty Island

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