Oh, man. I feel totally, totally bad for Justice Johnson. He writes a very important, persuasive, and really thoughtful concurrence in this case. One that's only four (double-spaced) pages, and really worth reading. It's a touching, and very powerful, tribute to the presumption of innocence in a criminal case. An opinion that really comes from the heart, and one that I found exceptionally compelling.
Then there's the last sentence on page 3. Right after Justice Johnson says: "Both with groups of jurors and in querying individual jurors, the trial judge indeed did 'pound home' the concept the defendant entered the courtroom an innocent man. The court did the same with the concept the jurors were bound to acquit the defendant if they had a reasonable doubt of his guilt after hearing the evidence." All good. And then Justice Johnson immediately follows with: "During his voir dire, the defense counsel reinforced this lesson, one-on-one with at least 20 individual jurors and the prosecutor did so with at least three."
Great. Except for one thing. In that last sentence I quoted, Justice Johnson didn't actually use the word "lesson". He referred to the presumption of innocence instead as a "lesion", rather than as a "lesson". As he actually wrote the opinion, the sentence thus reads: "During his voir dire, the defense counsel reinforced this lesion, one-on-one with at least 20 individual jurors . . . ."
Oops! Sort of changes the whole meaning of the reference, eh?! "Lesson" versus "Lesion". Big difference.
Lessons for the Day: (1) Shepardize (see previous post). (2) Don't rely on your spellchecker.
Fail to learn either lesson at your peril. For undying shame assuredly awaits you.