General Question

luigirovatti's avatar

Does the book/radiophonic series "Perry Mason" employs the same legal strategy as the Agatha Christie short story "Witness for the Prosecution"?

Asked by luigirovatti (2253points) 1 month ago

When a witness is, precisely, called by the prosecution but later discredits his/her own testimony with fake evidence, or perjures him/herself from the start, or introduces in discovery fake evidence. The more variations, the merrier.

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8 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

That’s not a legal strategy. A prosecutor can’t rely on a witness to contradict themselves; that would mean the prosecutor loses the case.

luigirovatti's avatar

@zenvelo: No, of course I meant the strategy of the defense.

zenvelo's avatar

Using a witness that can easily be discredited as a defense is a good way to have a client end up in jail. As a “strategy”, having impeachable witnesses is a failure.

Zaku's avatar

I think the question and details are missing a little bit in translation. I think a clearer way to say what you mean in English might be:

Does Perry Mason the series, feature Perry Mason the defense lawyer] using the same legal method as seen in the Agatha Christie short story “Witness for the Prosecution”? That is, does Perry Mason point out that a witness for the prosecution has given false testimony in some way?


Assuming that is the question, then yes. While there are some variations, typically Perry Mason’s strategy is to delay the conviction of his client long enough to (with the help of his assistants, Paul Drake and Della Street) conduct his own investigation so that he can expose the real perpetrator, often by catching that perpetrator (or accomplices or others) in lies on the witness stand, at which point they tend to confess or reveal the culprit.

luigirovatti's avatar

@zenvelo: All they would be guilty of is perjury, which is a lot less severe than murder. With another defense lawyer they may even be acquitted.

zenvelo's avatar

@luigirovatti You really don’t understand how a trial works, do you? If a defense lawyer puts a discreditable witness on the stand, the person accused of murder will end up in jail.

luigirovatti's avatar

@zenvelo: I merely meant the defense in some legal way induces the prosecution to call a discreditable witness to the stand.

zenvelo's avatar

@luigirovatti But no decent prosecutor would ever do that. A good lawyer for either teh prosecution or the defense never calls a witness that can be discredited because it will ruin their case.

And Hamilton Burger was too sharp to ever do that.

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