New covers inspired these Romancing Justice Custom Earrings! And because I’m so excited about the covers and the earrings, I’m giving away a few books and THE one-of-a-kind pair of earrings to ONE LUCKY READER! The ear wires are sterling silver, and the earring itself is a Fender guitar pick, with a hand-sewn and beaded organza rose set on top. They were created by me for one of my readers, and this particular set matches Book 3 in the Romancing Justice Series, Hand in Hand.
For those of you who don’t know, I’m an author, but I’ve been a freelance court reporter for more than two decades. You know, the lady in the courtroom with that little machine that always seems to be a mystery to everyone. Demystified, machine shorthand is the equivalent of learning a new language. I won’t bore you with the details, but it’s a very challenging job, because of the words and because of what those words mean in the stories of the lives in the courtrooms. Over the course of my career, I’ve listened to things you can’t imagine; everything from gang wars and drugs, to murder, to crimes against children and women.
Listening to those horrific words — coupled with my grief over the loss of my dad, who was a judge — and not being able to express my thoughts about any of that led me to write the stories that make up “Romancing Justice.” It’s my way of being able to turn chaos into joy, with joy winning every time. In my courtroom life, one of the things I’ve noticed about jurors is that you never know what they’re going to do. There have been times that I’ve thought for sure they’d find someone not guilty, based on a reasonable doubt from the evidence presented, but I was wrong.
In my curiosity about the nature of the juror, I thought I’d present a sample case where YOU get to be judge AND jury. I thought it would be a fun way to see how many GUILTY and now many NOT GUILTY votes the facts of this case would bring.
Each person commenting GUILT or NOT GUILTY will be entered in a random drawing to win one of these three prizes:
(1) Romancing Justice Custom Earrings. ***ONE E-MAIL ADDRESS PER ENTRY, PLEASE (US ONLY)***
(2) 1 free digital copy of Incredulity (Romancing Justice, Book 1)
(3) 1 free digital copy of Romancing Justice, Books 1, 2 and 3
There is no right or wrong answer. Ready to put on your black robe?
YOU BE THE JUDGE
Have you ever been on a jury? If not, have you ever screamed at the television when a jury verdict came through, thinking to yourself that you would have voted a different way? Here’s your chance to take control, because not only do you get a chance to be on a virtual jury, but you get to be the judge as well. But think carefully… being a juror/judge is a difficult chore when someone’s life and/or liberty is in your hands.
THE CASE OF THE CHILD PORNOGRAPHER
Charles Klein lived with his wife, Bonnie, and teenage son, Robbie, in a beautiful home in Anytown, USA. He traveled frequently, and one week while he was out of town, an old laptop belonging to Charles was turned in to the the Anytown Police Department, with a report that the laptop contained child pornography. Who turned in the laptop? Charles’ wife, Bonnie. The police took a statement from Bonnie, and due to the allegation, they asked if they had permission to search her home; Bonnie consented. No other evidence was recovered from the home during the search.
When Charles’ returned from his business trip two days later, he was questioned and arrested a few hours later, after the laptop had gone to forensics and several files containing child pornography were found on its hard drive.
THE WITNESSES FOR THE PROSECUTION:
LEAD DETECTIVE, ANYTOWN PD
The detective stated that the wife, Bonnie, entered the police station and he met and spoke with her over several hours, after she presented him with the laptop. He secured the evidence appropriately to establish chain of custody and personally took the laptop to the crime lab for analysis. When he performed the search of the residence, he found no other evidence of child pornography. There were, however, adult pornographic magazines in a hall closet on the top shelf.
After interviewing Charles, the detective testified that Charles said the laptop did belong to him but that it was an old work computer issued to him by a previous employer and that he hadn’t accessed it in more than two years. Charles had also indicated that the laptop wasn’t under lock and key and had not been password protected.
When questioned by the defendant’s attorney, the detective admitted that the hallway closet was not locked and anyone either living or visiting the defendant’s home could have placed them there. There was no fingerprint analysis done on the magazines, although they were collected. When asked about Bonnie’s demeanor, the detective also admitted that he’d questioned her about her relationship with her husband, and Bonnie admitted that they’d been having problems and she was considering asking Charles for a divorce.
COMPUTER FORENSICS SPECIALIST, ANYTOWN PD
The witness verified that he’d found the pornographic files of one little girl on the defendant’s laptop. When asked if he could testify about any fingerprints or log-on activity on the laptop, he answered, “No, I cannot.”
WITNESSES FOR THE DEFENDANT:
BROTHER TED, FIRST BAPTIST MINISTER, ANYTOWN
Brother Ted indicated that he’d known Charles and his family for more than two decades, and that he’d known him to be a Christian man, involved in his church and community. When asked if he’d known about the marital problems between Charles and Bonnie, he refused to answer that question, citing clergy-penitent privilege.
BRIAN MOKUS, COWORKER/FRIEND OF THE DEFENDANT
Brian testified that he’d known Charles for approximately five years and that he’d socialized with Charles and his wife on numerous occasions. He’d always known Charles to be honest and forthright. He felt that he was a good father and husband and could never imagine him having anything to do with child pornography. They’d even been on family weekend trips together, and Charles had never shown any inappropriate behavior with either of Brian’s children. He also testified that Charles had talked to him about the problems that he was having with Bonnie and that Charles had become suspicious about random cash withdrawals from their joint bank account, but he had no idea if Charles had spoken to Bonnie about them.
CHARLES’ LIBERTY IS IN YOUR HANDS: IS HE GUILTY OR NOT GUILTY?