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Stephanie
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Early Chapters Discussion: Courtroom

Paul walks us through a step-by-step account of Chamique's testimony in the trial. What did you make of Paul's trial strategy. He asked Chamique to own up to everything the jury would likely hold against her. Did he make the right decision? What did you make about Paul's attitude toward the defendants -- he says that it is not his job to determine if they are truly evil or just young people who made a terrible mistake. Is he right to refrain from taking on that responsibility?


Note: This discussion topic is particularly suitable for readers who have only read the first part of The Woods, through the end of Chapter Ten. If you wish to discuss plot elements introduced later in the book, consider posting in a separate thread.

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vivico1
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion: Courtroom up through chptr 10 only

At this point, up to chapter ten only, I think how he handled Chamique's testimony was perfect, get it out there in the open before the defense attorney can hiss it out at her. I think it is a good technique, if the witness says it all first, then it doesnt seem like they are hiding something and its harder to paint them in such a bad light. And her answers were great, especially about the money. I loved how Cope got in his little one liners about the boys too, that even when objected to, like he said, once the bell is rung you cant unring it. Was it the right decision? I think so, but wont know till i read the trial is over and what happens lol.
As for him saying its not his job to decide if they are truly evil or just young people who made a terrible mistake...i dont remember him saying anything to the one boys father about "truly evil". I do remember his saying its not his job to decide if they made a terrible mistake but it was his job to seek justice. He makes no bones about the fact that he feels nothing for these boys and thats that. Frankly I agree with him and that is his job, to seek justice for this girl regardless of who she is and he does seem to believe her so why should he worry about them. Also, just to burn my buns a little too, for the father or anyone to say, that even if it was rape, it was "just a terrible mistake" and dont ruin their lives over it. I am a rape victim myself, what do you think i would say to "dont ruin their young lives over it"? Rape is NEVER "just a terrible mistake".
just a little sidenote again, I think i know what he and Muse are missing already, what they cant quite put their finger on, but wont say here of course and will wait to see if i am right too :smileywink:
Vivian
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Andeka
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion: Courtroom

I thought Paul's tactic was gutsy and brilliant! Get his client to tell the jury first before the defendants can do it; kind of takes the wind out of their sails.

I had mixed feelings about Paul's attitude towards the defendants; I feel that maybe he's being hard on them (not accepting/admitting it was just a terrible mistake) because of his guilt over the past. Yet he's absolutely right in saying it's his job to bring justice to a girl who's been raped.
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion: Courtroom


Andeka wrote:
I thought Paul's tactic was gutsy and brilliant! Get his client to tell the jury first before the defendants can do it; kind of takes the wind out of their sails.

I had mixed feelings about Paul's attitude towards the defendants; I feel that maybe he's being hard on them (not accepting/admitting it was just a terrible mistake) because of his guilt over the past. Yet he's absolutely right in saying it's his job to bring justice to a girl who's been raped.


Do you think that a rape can be "a terrible mistake"?
Vivian
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kiakar
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion: Courtroom



vivico1 wrote:

Andeka wrote:
I thought Paul's tactic was gutsy and brilliant! Get his client to tell the jury first before the defendants can do it; kind of takes the wind out of their sails.

I had mixed feelings about Paul's attitude towards the defendants; I feel that maybe he's being hard on them (not accepting/admitting it was just a terrible mistake) because of his guilt over the past. Yet he's absolutely right in saying it's his job to bring justice to a girl who's been raped.


Do you think that a rape can be "a terrible mistake"?




It definitely is a mistake! And the person that is doing the rape is the one who has made the mistake! The person that was raped, to me, no matter the circumstances, she is not to blame for the actions that the rapist showed her. No one has the right, no matter the passion they have in their bodies, to rape or touch someone who absolutely saids NO! And if they are wearing seductive clothes, or acting in a seductive way, there is still no cause for this type of treatment. It is plain sexual abuse and RAPE.
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion: Courtroom

[ Edited ]

kiakar wrote:


vivico1 wrote:

Andeka wrote:
I thought Paul's tactic was gutsy and brilliant! Get his client to tell the jury first before the defendants can do it; kind of takes the wind out of their sails.

I had mixed feelings about Paul's attitude towards the defendants; I feel that maybe he's being hard on them (not accepting/admitting it was just a terrible mistake) because of his guilt over the past. Yet he's absolutely right in saying it's his job to bring justice to a girl who's been raped.


Do you think that a rape can be "a terrible mistake"?




It definitely is a mistake! And the person that is doing the rape is the one who has made the mistake! The person that was raped, to me, no matter the circumstances, she is not to blame for the actions that the rapist showed her. No one has the right, no matter the passion they have in their bodies, to rape or touch someone who absolutely saids NO! And if they are wearing seductive clothes, or acting in a seductive way, there is still no cause for this type of treatment. It is plain sexual abuse and RAPE.


Well see kiakar, this is what i am saying tho, rape is NEVER just a terrible "mistake". Its a life changing violent crime of intent, its no "mistake". So I agree with everything else you said, thats my point, except calling it a "mistake" of ANY kind. It makes my chest tighten and my anger flare to hear anyone, like the father in this book, chalk it up to "a terrible mistake".

Message Edited by vivico1 on 04-30-200711:03 PM

Vivian
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Andeka
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion: Courtroom

vivico1 wrote:
Do you think that a rape can be "a terrible mistake"?
--------------------------------------

From the accused's standpoint: I think there is a difference between the act being intentional - and a rape happening because someone got drunk and crossed the line. Both need to be punished - getting drunk is no excuse - but I feel those who intentionally rape people should be punished more severely.

as for the victim - rape is rape no matter how it came about; it's horrible and the reason behind it can never make it seem less so.
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vivico1
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion: Courtroom


Andeka wrote:
vivico1 wrote:
Do you think that a rape can be "a terrible mistake"?
--------------------------------------

From the accused's standpoint: I think there is a difference between the act being intentional - and a rape happening because someone got drunk and crossed the line. Both need to be punished - getting drunk is no excuse - but I feel those who intentionally rape people should be punished more severely.

as for the victim - rape is rape no matter how it came about; it's horrible and the reason behind it can never make it seem less so.


Alcohol is never a mitigating factor for a violent crime. I think they should get just as severe of punishment as someone who rapes "sober". I can not see rape under any circumstance as a "terrible mistake". Especially given that it is a physical act that takes some doing, its not even like holding a gun and accidently pulling a hair trigger and hurting someone. The physical logistics in it are intentional and forceful because the person being raped isnt helping. Rape is not just..crossing the line.
Vivian
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Wrighty
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion: Courtroom


vivico1 wrote:

Andeka wrote:
I thought Paul's tactic was gutsy and brilliant! Get his client to tell the jury first before the defendants can do it; kind of takes the wind out of their sails.

I had mixed feelings about Paul's attitude towards the defendants; I feel that maybe he's being hard on them (not accepting/admitting it was just a terrible mistake) because of his guilt over the past. Yet he's absolutely right in saying it's his job to bring justice to a girl who's been raped.


Do you think that a rape can be "a terrible mistake"?




Rape is never just a "terrible mistake". No one ever asks for it and it is never justified. These young men may not be serial rapists, they may have had their judgement clouded by alcohol, but they still controlled their own actions. It is a forcible crime and what's even worse in their case is that there were more than one of them. They do appear terrified in court and probably do regret their actions but they can't take back the fact that they committed a terrible crime on another person against her will.

E.J. Jenrette, Edward's father, is a very unlikeable character to me. In other words, he's a slimeball. He seems cold and power hungry. A man who gets his way at any cost. He just has to offer enough money or find the right way to intimidate people. I don't even get the impression that he cares that it's about his son and his crime as much as a speck on his reputation that has to be erased. He's a man who always needs to be in control. He needs to control this case regardless of justice or consequences.
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KathyS
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion: Courtroom

I was hesitant, at first, concerning Paul's approach to use Chamique's 'honest' reactions, only because I was afraid it would backfire. But as I 'watched' the trial progress, I could see his tactics. I just wasn't sure what Flair had up his sleeve, who seemed so self assured before the trial started. Her money issue bothered me, and I didn't whole heartedly agree with it.

I saw Paul's point in bringing justice for Chamique. Who was there for her? No one. Paul is the perfect lawyer in these cases, not being swayed by an easy out for either his client, or the defendants. When kids start to emulate a parent, such as the father that thinks he can buy his way out of anything, the child will only follow in those footsteps. Stopping these situations, as Paul has to, brought out even another side to just how far a parent goes in pulling strings, and unlawfully manipulating a situation to their advantage.

I do sometimes want to see the other side's point of view, because everyone does make mistakes. But I've witnessed the other side, also, and in these cases I have no sympathy for these boys, other than being sorry that they had become who they are because of their lack of parenting values. It's a hard lesson to be learned, but the law is there for the innocent victims in these crimes, which Paul subscribes to in force. I don't know the ending to this trial, as yet, but I hope justice is served.
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion: Courtroom


Wrighty wrote:

vivico1 wrote:

Andeka wrote:
I thought Paul's tactic was gutsy and brilliant! Get his client to tell the jury first before the defendants can do it; kind of takes the wind out of their sails.

I had mixed feelings about Paul's attitude towards the defendants; I feel that maybe he's being hard on them (not accepting/admitting it was just a terrible mistake) because of his guilt over the past. Yet he's absolutely right in saying it's his job to bring justice to a girl who's been raped.


Do you think that a rape can be "a terrible mistake"?




Rape is never just a "terrible mistake". No one ever asks for it and it is never justified. These young men may not be serial rapists, they may have had their judgement clouded by alcohol, but they still controlled their own actions. It is a forcible crime and what's even worse in their case is that there were more than one of them. They do appear terrified in court and probably do regret their actions but they can't take back the fact that they committed a terrible crime on another person against her will.

E.J. Jenrette, Edward's father, is a very unlikeable character to me. In other words, he's a slimeball. He seems cold and power hungry. A man who gets his way at any cost. He just has to offer enough money or find the right way to intimidate people. I don't even get the impression that he cares that it's about his son and his crime as much as a speck on his reputation that has to be erased. He's a man who always needs to be in control. He needs to control this case regardless of justice or consequences.


AMEN Wrighty! I agree with you 100%. and how you worded one thing there made me think what this was, was NOT a "terrible mistake" but a "terrible crime". Thats a good way to put it, thats what was "terrible" about it.
Vivian
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Wrighty
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion: Courtroom up through chptr 10 only


vivico1 wrote:
At this point, up to chapter ten only, I think how he handled Chamique's testimony was perfect, get it out there in the open before the defense attorney can hiss it out at her. I think it is a good technique, if the witness says it all first, then it doesnt seem like they are hiding something and its harder to paint them in such a bad light. And her answers were great, especially about the money. I loved how Cope got in his little one liners about the boys too, that even when objected to, like he said, once the bell is rung you cant unring it. Was it the right decision? I think so, but wont know till i read the trial is over and what happens lol.
As for him saying its not his job to decide if they are truly evil or just young people who made a terrible mistake...i dont remember him saying anything to the one boys father about "truly evil". I do remember his saying its not his job to decide if they made a terrible mistake but it was his job to seek justice. He makes no bones about the fact that he feels nothing for these boys and thats that. Frankly I agree with him and that is his job, to seek justice for this girl regardless of who she is and he does seem to believe her so why should he worry about them. Also, just to burn my buns a little too, for the father or anyone to say, that even if it was rape, it was "just a terrible mistake" and dont ruin their lives over it. I am a rape victim myself, what do you think i would say to "dont ruin their young lives over it"? Rape is NEVER "just a terrible mistake".
just a little sidenote again, I think i know what he and Muse are missing already, what they cant quite put their finger on, but wont say here of course and will wait to see if i am right too :smileywink:




Viv, please feel free to say this is no one's business but I wondered if your rapist was ever prosecuted in court. I know this is so very personal and in no way requires an answer. I really don't mean to put you on the spot so I'm so very sorry if that's how this comes across.
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion: Courtroom up through chptr 10 only

wrighty wrote:
Viv, please feel free to say this is no one's business but I wondered if your rapist was ever prosecuted in court. I know this is so very personal and in no way requires an answer. I really don't mean to put you on the spot so I'm so very sorry if that's how this comes across.
____________________________________________________________________________________




Don't worry Wrighty, it is an honest question and not a bit insensitive, I take no offense at you asking. Short answer, no, he was never prosecuted and I know to this day where he lives, thankfully not even in my state. And before you ask, there is no way to prosecute him today, it was decades ago. So we go on. Some chapters in your life you have to close, or at least let go of. I mention it at times when the subject matter is there and can do so without the fear or horror of it now. I have none of those feelings now, this is my life now, he cant have that :smileywink: . But as you can see, it will tend to raise my ire when I see someone minimalize rape to something like "a terrible mistake", or other times when people say, well she provoked it by her dress! Heck, I am a mormon and we dress conservatively, (and no not long dresses and buns on our heads lol, I aint giving up my pants and capris and you will only find me in a dress for church or some special occassion lol) but the point is, even someone of a conservative believe like myself, should NEVER say a woman provoked it, I dont care if she is standing in front of you naked! You can control your body and your sexual urges and what you do with them, so take the high ground, the right ground, the LAWFUL ground and dont do it! Walk away if your that overcome with sexual arousal, I wont even call it desire, I prefer to think there is some emotion in desire that would preclude one from wanting to hurt a woman or a man, or a child in such a fashion. There is no minimizing rape.
Vivian
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vivico1
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion: Courtroom/precourt banter

[ Edited ]
What did you guys think of the pre-court banter between Paul and Flair? I thought this was great, I could picture the whole scene. Flair, what a name for this character lol, I agree with Paul about wondering if it were real. He was dressed to the nines as far as rich lawyers go , all one color too even the shoes. I LOVED Paul telling him he looked like "Barney joins the Village People" LOL, or the purple telatubby but he couldnt remember his name, but Flair does lol and says its Tinky Winky and so dated. These two may snipe at each other but you do get the impression they do really respect each other's lawyering skills. As for Mort, Flair's co-council, hes just a mess and I think Flair uses him for many reasons, plus i think even he is tickled by his antics but doesnt show it. He likes that Mort irritates other attorneys. Paul's chief investigator and cohort Muse, I like her and she plays well off of Paul's tempo and is great at her job. I find her name interesting and wonder if anything will come of her and Paul later. Well, for that matter, look at all the names Harlan has used for these characters, descriptive in some way of them. Flair...the gay attorney, Muse, the little female voice that leads Paul to information he wants. Paul, aka in here mostly Cope short for Copeland, is he not the one who is trying to "cope" with all this? As for Mort, well thats one of those names that you expect to be tagged to an annoying person (NO offense to all the Morts out there lol) but it is more a fitting name than if this raging overdramatic mad little lawyer had been named something like simply Joseph. You can see saying, ah, Mort, it figures. Flair and his remarks to Muse about her shoes and how she did response later, just left her open for teasing from Paul after that lol. This is great stuff.

Message Edited by vivico1 on 05-01-200703:03 PM

Vivian
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Stephanie
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion: Courtroom/precourt banter

Since we are in the early chapters, I'd like to commend all of you who have finished the book on avoiding spoilers!

What's interesting to me is that Paul is so steady in his view of justice and truth. Bringing the truth of Chamique's situation to light seems more than just a tactic, it seems to me a lesson I want to take with me into all aspects of life. Why not be upfront and honest about who you are and where you stand? Of course she's interested in money! Who would believe that she wasn't? Yes, she wants payback, in two forms. And Flair deflated is just how I liked him.
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion: Courtroom/precourt banter


Stephanie wrote:
Since we are in the early chapters, I'd like to commend all of you who have finished the book on avoiding spoilers!

What's interesting to me is that Paul is so steady in his view of justice and truth. Bringing the truth of Chamique's situation to light seems more than just a tactic, it seems to me a lesson I want to take with me into all aspects of life. Why not be upfront and honest about who you are and where you stand? Of course she's interested in money! Who would believe that she wasn't? Yes, she wants payback, in two forms. And Flair deflated is just how I liked him.


How many people in here are finished already?? wow, i applaud you too for not posting any spoilers. I didnt know anyone was finished, i sure am not but i know some of you are way ahead of me. Thank you , whoever you are lol, cause this is too good a book to get spoiled. :smileyhappy:
Vivian
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KathyS
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion: Courtroom/precourt banter



Stephanie wrote:
Since we are in the early chapters, I'd like to commend all of you who have finished the book on avoiding spoilers!

What's interesting to me is that Paul is so steady in his view of justice and truth. Bringing the truth of Chamique's situation to light seems more than just a tactic, it seems to me a lesson I want to take with me into all aspects of life. Why not be upfront and honest about who you are and where you stand? Of course she's interested in money! Who would believe that she wasn't? Yes, she wants payback, in two forms. And Flair deflated is just how I liked him.




As far a Chamique wanting payback, I quess I was naive enough to believe she would have a smidgen of some values, and being mercenary wasn't something I thought was needed to add to the character, giving fuel to the oppositions fire. But I didn't write the story, so I'll accept it as just part of who Chamique is.
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion: Courtroom/precourt banter


KathyS wrote:


Stephanie wrote:
Since we are in the early chapters, I'd like to commend all of you who have finished the book on avoiding spoilers!

What's interesting to me is that Paul is so steady in his view of justice and truth. Bringing the truth of Chamique's situation to light seems more than just a tactic, it seems to me a lesson I want to take with me into all aspects of life. Why not be upfront and honest about who you are and where you stand? Of course she's interested in money! Who would believe that she wasn't? Yes, she wants payback, in two forms. And Flair deflated is just how I liked him.




As far a Chamique wanting payback, I quess I was naive enough to believe she would have a smidgen of some values, and being mercenary wasn't something I thought was needed to add to the character, giving fuel to the oppositions fire. But I didn't write the story, so I'll accept it as just part of who Chamique is.


But you know Kathy, is her wanting the money too, really so mercenary, given her life and needs and what they did? I think it makes her real and wanting payback makes her real. This is still an open wound to her too and who has she got to believe her that it was even a rape? You cant pay them back by raping them back. But you can take away their freedom like they did hers and they took something precious from her, so why not take what is from them...their money? Is it mercenary or justice? Maybe both. But I like that he did make her real and not some nice little girl with no warts of her own. It really makes it so much more real to know that rape is rape, regardless of the status or character of the person raped. I loved that there was that honesty there.
Vivian
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KathyS
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion: Courtroom/precourt banter

But you know Kathy, is her wanting the money too, really so mercenary, given her life and needs and what they did? I think it makes her real and wanting payback makes her real. This is still an open wound to her too and who has she got to believe her that it was even a rape? You cant pay them back by raping them back. But you can take away their freedom like they did hers and they took something precious from her, so why not take what is from them...their money? Is it mercenary or justice? Maybe both. But I like that he did make her real and not some nice little girl with no warts of her own. It really makes it so much more real to know that rape is rape, regardless of the status or character of the person raped. I loved that there was that honesty there.
__________________________________________________________________________________

Viv, I'm not sure if I'm making my point clear. I don't have a problem with Chamique being real...I see her realness in who she is, what she does, and what's happened to her. Paul makes that perfectly clear. He shows her every "wart". She's real enough for me to reach out and touch! I see her wounds, she bleeds just like the rest of us. She hurts, I see that. I don't dispute that. How can I, when I cry for her in her situation?

I more than see the point of taking these guys rears off to jail, they deserve to get whatever is coming to them. But what I don't see is, is just because she NEEDS money, is this the honest way of getting it?...if you want to call it an eye for an eye, money has nothing to do with getting justice in this case.

Again, I see her needs, but it comes more from her WANTS. Wants aren't needs, and it has nothing to do with justice. We are not in this life, as far as I'm concerned, to use the system to make money. There are times when money is the only thing that you have to get from these people, to repay you for what has been done to you, but if these boys lives are shut away, then both they, and their parents, are paid back. And justice is then served.
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Andeka
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion: Courtroom/precourt banter

KathyS wrote:

Again, I see her needs, but it comes more from her WANTS. Wants aren't needs, and it has nothing to do with justice. We are not in this life, as far as I'm concerned, to use the system to make money. There are times when money is the only thing that you have to get from these people, to repay you for what has been done to you, but if these boys lives are shut away, then both they, and their parents, are paid back. And justice is then served.

--------------------------------------------------------

That's a very good point, Kathy, and I agree with your concept here. I see our judicial system as the new way to acquire wealth these days, and it really makes me wonder about our society sometimes. I'm not totally against the monetary payout necessarily, but I do wonder about the amount sometimes, that gets awarded. Is there really a price that can erase the damage?
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