To all those following and praying for Heather, Jon, and Judy Wilson:  Judy's trial resumes this afternoon.  I'm no longer there to continue my blow-by-blow commentary, but I'll pass on the news as I am able.  Jon is now scheduled to appear as a defense witness, so prayers for him and his testimony would be appreciated.   (I find it bizaare that he was ping-ponged that way—he was originally scheduled, like Heather, as a witness for the prosecution—but my prosecuting attorney friends don't.  Facts are facts, and you use whomever you need to establish them.)

There may even be a verdict today, so prayers for the judge would also be a very good thing!

Posted by sursumcorda on Wednesday, October 29, 2008 at 7:20 am | Edit
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Looks as if we can't expect a verdict today, with it not starting till afternoon, but we trust Jon will be done testifying. I haven't heard anything yet, however.

Posted by SursumCorda on Wednesday, October 29, 2008 at 5:05 pm

There definitely wasn't going to be a verdict today - I am not sure if we miscommunicated that at some point.

I knew there would be some time for the lawyers to go home and think about their closing arguments. The date for that is February 18th. And then there is a reasonably reliable rumor that the judge will decide 5 days after that.

There were maybe 10 supporters in the audience today. And I finally got to thank the substitute Butler Eagle reporter for her article years ago - when she was the only one whose article I liked. She happened to be substituting again today, so we'll see what her article is like tomorrow. The other reporters overheard me thanking her - so it'd be nice if they would not just copy and paste from their previous articles - both the Trib and Gazette had different reporters today (at least than previous years - I think one of the guys was there a month ago - and his article then wasn't very interesting).

The questioning was pretty rough. The prosecution made up a number of stories, saying, "isn't it true that you..." or "do you remember testifying previously ..." and the ends of the sentences were really random stuff. In retrospect, I think the prosecution's goal was to try to get us irritated, which she succeeded with me, and didn't with Judi (a different midwife than Judy). I don't know if her stories were also intended to try to convince the judge that they actually happened even though I said they didn't.

Maybe prosecutors need to take an oath of telling the whole truth as well as the witnesses.

I can't remember most of what was asked of me now; I do remember one question of Judi: Do you use pitocin? No. What if I told you that I had talked to some people who said that you did use pitocin? Uhh... I've never used it. Okay, my next question is...

I am not sure if that was supposed to try to make Judi nervous that Lisa had actually talked to someone. It seems like a silly thing to bluff on.

Lisa said that when I called her after being told I would be arrested if I didn't talk to her that I said Lee was my lawyer, and when she said he wasn't, I insisted that he was. I wish I recorded more of my phone conversations, because that is a complete fabrication. I said that I had talked to Lee, and he had said she couldn't serve me a subpoena to show up at her office. She asked if I had legal counsel, and I said that I had the one friend that we talked to sometimes, but no, we didn't have anyone officially representing us.
I am not sure how she could have possibly heard that as "Lee is my lawyer".

She also asked whether Judy had told me that Isaac could die during a breech birth, and whether she had told me that my wife could die of hemorrhaging, and if I actually cared about my children or not. I guess in writing you miss out on the facial expressions and tone of voice. It was quite entertaining.

She also accused me of not answering her questions, but then when I tried to answer them, by asking clarifying questions, she would say "YES or NO Mr. Daley".

One line of questioning went like this:
Q. Do you remember Judy telling you that everything would be okay?
A. No.
Q. Do you remember testifying at the open inquest?
A. Yes
Q. Do you remember saying at that point that Judy said everything would be okay?
A. No.

Q. Here is your testimony, read from here to here.
Q. Now do you remember testifying that Judy said everything would be okay?
A. No.
Q. WHAT?!?!?! So, you are now testifying today that what you testified previously was incorrect?
A. No.
Q. It says right here: "She said that Lucille said that everything would be okay". Now do you remember?
A. No.
A. I said that Lucille said that, not Judy.
Quite frustrating,

Similar line of questioning regarding whether Judy had done any vaginal exams. Again, back and forth, until she accused me of lying, and changing my testimony (my current testimony is that I don't remember if she did or not). What Lisa quoted me as saying 5.5 years ago is: "There was a, probably, I think, when she got there, she did a vaginal exam to see in terms of dilation, whatever. I wasn't particularly interested in that part of it, so I wasn't paying attention". And she somehow took that to mean that I was sure then, and had changed my mind now.

While questioning me about whether I thought we should have transported or not, I said that I didn't think it was a good idea to transport a mom with a baby half hanging out of her (It seems medical folks are split about 50-50 on that decision - some people say you can always transport, other people say you shouldn't) Lisa's follow-up question was: And what medical institution did you get your medical degree at?

I guess her idea is that you can't have any opinions about your own medical care. It would be interesting to hear her conversations with her doctor - or maybe there aren't any - she is always quite shocked to see that we are interested in spending time and talking with the Wilsons. (I asked if Judy and Charlie would like to come to the Children's' Museum to see Heather, and meet Faith (and it turns out, to meet Noah as well, and they only briefly saw Jonathan at one of the hearings - I hadn't realized it had been that long))

Some Amish folks said they were praying for us, and were quite sympathetic when we stopped for the recess during my testimony.

The prosecution tried again to get Judi's testimony thrown out, primarily on the grounds that Judi might be testifying against herself if midwifery were illegal in PA. (Just looking out for Judi...) Fortunately, the judge disagreed (I highly suspect that the judge is convinced midwifery is legal in PA, and perhaps wants to get his name on a document that helps to officially declare that (along with the Goslin decision from earlier this year).

Lee had a couple motions about reducing and removing some of the charges - if I understand it correctly (and he talked for quite a long time, so I lost him during some parts). Dr. Omalu testified that Isaac was born alive, and that the actions that led to his death were done prior to him coming out of Heather. Thus, the charge of Judy endangering the welfare of a (born) child should be thrown out. The charge of involuntary manslaughter for an unborn child should be reduced, because the law they charged her with (and the severity of the penalty) has to do with children under 12, and unborn children do not fall under that statute. The judge listened to both of those, and said he'd take them under advisement, and Lee should write up some briefs on the topics, researching what other courts had done (Lee had already checked out PA cases - the judge told him to go outside of the state - which apparently is a strange request - presumably because state laws are different, so hard to compare results of cases, I think - anyway - that is part of the reason for extending the trial to February).

I thought Judi's testimony went well - she said she has delivered 2600 babies in the last 28 years, 100+ of those being breech. She (and apparently lots of midwives) receive regular training regarding the PA mandatory tests, and hospitals in PA provide the midwives with the paperwork and equipment to do those tests. The point of all of that has to do with that PA has recognized non-nurse midwives as a valid method to deliver babies in this state, and has for decades (and I think prior to that too - Judi just isn't old enough to testify farther back than 1980).

It seemed to me that the judge was pushing for Lee to ask to have the third charge dropped - he kept saying - I believe it has been shown in other courts that midwifery is legal in PA, is it not? But, I mentioned that to Lee, and he didn't think the judge was that strong, as to definitely already be decided that way. We'll see in February I guess (Heather says she believe the February 18 + 5 days when it happens...)

Time for bed.

Posted by Jon Daley on Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 1:23 am

Thanks for the detailed update, Jon. I wonder if Lisa was harder on you because you're officially a defense witness now instead of hers.

I suspect you are much too much like I would be on the witness stand. I generally do badly at filling out surveys because I find very few questions can be answered, "YES or NO Mr. Daley!" They make you swear to tell the whole truth, then make it impossible to do so.

How did you handle the question about whether or not you actually care for your children??? I don't think I could have stayed calm. Did she ask that of Heather?

I don't know how the judge took the way you answered the question about whether or not Judy said everything would be all right, but I can imagine nearly everyone in the courtroom struggled not to snicker at the punch line.

Here's the Tribune-Review story. It seems pretty good, and they got his birthday right this time. :) That's the only article Google News shows at this time.

I hadn't realized closing arguments would be so far away! I guess I'll be posting "The Trial, Part III" in February.

Posted by SursumCorda on Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 6:49 am

Why on earth would you wait to do closing arguments on February 18th? That's absurd. What exactly is supposed to be happening between October 30th and February 18th? The fact-finder (whether jury or judge) is going to forget half of what was said between now and February 18th. That's stupid.

Bradford (a lawyer in FL)

Posted by Bradford on Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 6:34 pm

The judge has a semi-secret meeting with the two attorneys, so I had to make do with lip reading, so I missed one of the three reasons for having it so late, and it aggravated Judy, so she didn't tell me what it was.

One reason was that the prosecutor is on vacation for some of the time.

The other reason is that the judge asked the defense attorney to file some briefs to help support his two motions for reducing the charges. The defense lawyer already had looked up prior cases in Pennsylvania, (which he said there was only one case that applied to the involuntary manslaughter against an unborn child, and I gathered that the outcome of that case was that they dropped or reduced the charges, since that particular law (and the increased severity due to being a child under 12) doesn't cover unborn children). The judge told him to go outside of Pennsylvania. The defense argued that he wasn't allowed to do that (I think on the grounds that laws are different in different states), but the judge explicitly said, "I'm allowing you to do so", so he had to agree.

In the history of this case, I think this will be the shortest time frame we have had. I don't think we have seen shorter than six months between meetings before.

Posted by Jon Daley on Friday, October 31, 2008 at 10:41 am

i appreciate having this update to read. i certainly wasn't going to learn anything accurate or helpful in the media.

i hope and pray that this is over soon (if one calls february soon).

Posted by serina on Monday, November 03, 2008 at 9:38 pm

The trial has once again been postponed; I know neither the reason nor a new date.

Posted by SursumCorda on Monday, February 16, 2009 at 7:00 pm

Isn't there something somewhere about a right to a speedy trial? I mean, it's not like Judy's being held in Guantanamo!

Posted by Stephan on Monday, February 16, 2009 at 8:59 pm

Yeah, I thought so too. And our prosecutor friend thought it was crazy that the judge didn't conclude the trial immediately, but instead put it off. I have no idea what caused the two subsequent delays. (This is not counting the innumerable delays since 2002, when this all started.) Somehow the right to a speedy trial gets waived in order to give one's attorney time to prepare his case -- there ought to be a way of doing that without making it drag on for years and years. Maybe I should start taking bets on how many kids Heather and Jon will have by the time this is finally resolved.

But as I've said before, what incentive does the prosecution have to facilitate matters? As long as there's no resolution, Judy can't practice, which is what they want.

Posted by SursumCorda on Monday, February 16, 2009 at 9:57 pm

The trial resumed today. Here is Jon's post about it, though there's no news yet. I'll update when I know.

Posted by SursumCorda on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 at 12:58 pm

Spoke too soon. Delayed till next Tuesday....

Posted by SursumCorda on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 at 1:36 pm

Now delayed till April 2....

Posted by SursumCorda on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at 9:23 am

Delayed again. Can't blame anyone for this one, which is due to critical family health issues for a major participant.

Posted by SursumCorda on Wednesday, April 01, 2009 at 10:20 am

Judy's trial has been rescheduled for Thursday, April 23, 2009.

Posted by SursumCorda on Monday, April 13, 2009 at 11:55 am
The Trial - Some Final Thoughts
Excerpt: (This is a follow-up to previous posts:   Options In Childbirth: A Personal Odyssey; The Trial; The Trial, Part II; and The Trial, Part III.) I am not a lawyer, and I have no idea what Judy or her lawyer really think, but that doesn't sto...
Weblog: Lift Up Your Hearts!
Date: April 29, 2009, 11:23 am
The Trial, Part III
Excerpt: I have no more information yet than is in this Post-Gazette article, but it looks as if the seven-year ordeal is finally over.  If it's not the vindication and ringing endorsement of birthing rights I was hoping for, it's probably the best we coul...
Weblog: Lift Up Your Hearts!
Date: April 23, 2009, 4:41 pm