March 30, 2017 by Hayley Ellis
The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald:
We will be watching the Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald as based on the Showtime Special DocuTrial from the 1980s. Vincent Bugliosi acted as prosecution while Gerry Spence, who had not lost a case in 17 years acted as defense. A key point is that the judge, Lucius Bunton makes the point that the burden of proof lies with the prosecution (Mr. Bugliosi and the US government) meaning that it is up to him to provide evidence that supports that Oswald is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Here are my notes.
Bugliosi– There is always a charge of conspiracy, and there is no backing that Lee Oswald was simply a patsy used as a ploy of the government. There will be no other evidence that any other group other than Oswald committed the crime. Oswald was a disturbed man. He was a Marxist and pronounced his love of Marxism. Oswald carried his gun into the TSBD building and shot 3 times, hitting the President twice. Within minutes Oswald’s rifle was found on the sixth floor. Evidence will show that Oswald’s rifle was the rifle that fired the bullets that struck President Kenned. Evidence will also show that 45 minutes later, Oswald shot and killed Officer JD Tippit. There will be much more evidence connecting Oswald to the assassination. Total confidence that the jury will find Mr. Oswald guilty.
Spence– For 20 years we’ve been told that Oswald killed the President. Bugliosi knows that is what everyone thinks. Do you want to undo a national lie through this case? Bugliosi wants you to hate Oswald before he even has a trial. You know, Oswald was slain by an assassin’s bullet before he could even tell you the truth himself. It’s my job to bring some parts of the truth to you. We will discover that the truth in this case has been concealed from us and before its over you’ll need to turn to Mr. Bugliosi and ask him who represents the United States of America why you haven’t come forward with the whole truth? You will find that when this case is concluded we still won’t know the whole truth. We will find that the key information that we need in this assassination is gone. There is dispute about where the shots were fired from. There is only one way to determine where the bullets came from? If it came from the back, Mr. Bugliosi can blame Lee. But if it came from the front, it means it came from someone else. We just don’t know. We wish we did know. You, as jurors must return a verdict of not guilty.
To be completely honest, I’m absolutely fascinated with the legal process and legal proceedings. I love watching trials and this just gets me going. The idea of having a trial for Lee Harvey Oswald, who never got one due to Jack Ruby murdering him before the eyes of the American people just fascinates me. I think the opening statements set the stage for an interesting trial. Mr. Spence gives a solid argument of why the jury needs to go into this with an open mind and supports that with evidence and reasoning that would support his argument. Mr. Bugliosi speaks to exactly the prejudices which the jury would come into the trial with and explains how his evidence is going to support those prejudices and the national storyline that they know of Lee Oswald.
I’m looking forward to hearing more testimony.