So, the other night for instance, we were watching The Good Wife. A terrific show, well-written, highly entertaining, and side note, Juliana Margulies, who wasn't my favorite on ER, IS now. And she has the best eyebrows on the planet. Worth watching, just for those. But I, as always, digress.
ROBERTA: I realized that after eight books, I've never had a character hire a lawyer. But Hayley Snow needs one now. The cops have brought her in to the station in Key West for the THIRD time and she finally says she's not talking, she wants to call her father. Her father finds her a lawyer who comes right down to the KWPD. Here the lawyer tells the detective he wants a room without a camera to talk to his client. (I'm sure this must be wrong, but I was hoping you would say that since the cops are skating on thin ice with their evidence, they might agree to it.)
HALLIE: I'm comin' over to watch TV!
My question: What if the defense lawyer knows that his client is guilty (of murder, just for example)? Would a good lawyer ever try to implicate someone else?
RHYS: Since I set my stories in the past and I don't think I've ever had a courtroom scene, I've escaped most of the pitfalls that would make Jonathan leap up and yell at the screen. What's more I set one series in 1900s New York City in which the police and politics were so corrupt that I could get away with almost anything. But I do have a question: if someone was killed while working on a construction project because sub standard concrete was being used, would their attorney sue for wrongful death, negligence or what?
JAN: I watch the Good Wife, too (LOVE JULIANA), with my husband who isn't a renowned defense attorney, but even with his rusty and now very distant experience as a public defender, shouts out all quite a bit of "That would never fly" in a court-room. So I can just imagine Jonathan's reaction.
But what I want know very specific to Massachusetts and the true crime book I'm working on. If, in jury selection, the prosecutor is allowed 18 peremptory challenges - to get rid of potentially unsympathetic jurors. And there are multiple defendants being tried together -- does each defendant get 18 peremptory challenges or do they share and divide up 18 challenges?
JONATHAN: In Massachusetts, multiple defendants share the challenges, and have to agree on the exercise of each challenge. However, the defendants could ask the judge for more individual challenges, and permit them to exercise them individually. But that would be within the discretion of the judge.