MINUTES FROM TUESDAY, FEB 3, 2015, 6:30 PM at the Edina Art Center
Twin Cities Sisters in Crime
There were 18 in attendance.
AGENDA ITEMS: Upcoming Events; Newsletter; Twitter; Author Spotlight – Sheyna Galyan, Strength to Stand; Guest Speaker – Lisa Kloster, Defense Attorney, “What the Jury Doesn’t Hear”
Saturday, February 7th
Jess Lourey had a signing for her new book, February Fever, at OUAC
Christine Husom had signings in Hudson, WI, Buffalo & N.E. Minneapolis for the first book in her Snow Globe Shop Mystery Series, Snow Way Out
Tuesday, February 10
Carl Brookins will speak about his Case of the Purloined Painting, 7PM Roseville Library
Saturday, March 14th at 10:00am – Author’s Studio
Edina Art Center
4701 W. 64th St.
Edina, MN 55435
Local author Colin Nelson interviews authors in a format similar to the Actors Studio. On March 14th, he will interview editors/authors of TCSinC’s first anthology, Festival of Crime.
Saturday, March 28th from 10:30am – 4:00pm – Bloomington Writer’s Fest
Bloomington Center for the Art
1800 W Old Shakopee Road
The TCSinC e-newsletter will be sent on the 15th of March, June, September & December.
Article deadlines will be 1 month prior to publication.
Items to be published in the newsletter need to be submitted to email@example.com
The advantage of sending them to this address is that Timya Owen will also see them for cross promotion on Twitter.
The newsletter will consist of the following:
- Article of Interest
- 500 words or less
- Written by a member or guest
- Subjects to include: Writing, Publishing, Guest Speaker Talks, Field Trip/Conference Observations, Suggest something…
- New Books, Nominations, Awards, Contests
- Calendar of Events
- Book Launches, Signings, TCSinC Events, Workshops
- Letting the public/libraries know that our authors are available for panels, events, book clubs, etc.
Our Twitter account now has over 350 followers. Way to go, Timya!
Sheyna Galyan reading from her novel, Strength to Stand, Rabbi David Cohen novel (book 2 in the series)
When Rabbi Batya Zahav first suspects she’s the victim of an anti-Jewish stalker, she enlists the help of her colleague, Rabbi David Cohen. Soon her husband Arik, an Israeli-born Minneapolis cop, is also on the case. As the stalker’s anonymous threats increase in violent intensity, it falls to David to figure out who the stalker is, and stop him or her before someone gets hurt, and before the stalker carries out the latest chilling threat.
Lisa Kloster, Public Defender
“What the Jury Doesn’t Know”
Our own Dan Koopmans introduced us to Lisa Kloster. Thanks, Dan. If you have an idea for a great guest speaker, email Rhonda Gilliland at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa introduced herself as a criminal defense attorney with 20 years of experience, mostly in the Dakota County Public Defender’s Office. She is someone who enjoys trials, but told us that of the 300-500 cases she works a year only 5-7 of those actually go to trial.
On the entertainment front, she said she can hardly watch a program like Law & Order because they miss so many of the nuances of court proceedings, and/or climactic moments are just plain wrong. For example guns are not allowed to be dramatically submitted (think slamming down on a table) as evidence in court, prosecutors must use a picture of the gun. But she is inspired by the closing arguments she sees in television/films.
She wanted to share with us her knowledge about “What the Jury Doesn’t Know.”
Depending on the charge, defendants can be tried in District or Federal Court. She spoke to us about working in the District Courts where clients could be charged with crimes like murder, criminal sexual assault, domestic abuse…
If a client has a less than felony level charge and decides to go to court, a 6 person jury, rather than 12, would be seated.
Defendants have the constitutional right to waive a jury trial, and have their case heard by a judge in a court trial.
If the person does have a jury trial, the jury determines the guilt or innocence of the defendant, but the judge rules on the sentence.
Most times what is happening in the court room has been orchestrated and agreed to by the prosecutor and defense attorney.
Often there is a pretrial conference to try reach a deal and settle the case. This is generally good for the defense as the judge doesn’t hear all of the potentially gory details of the case. When cases do go to court, defendants tend to receive stiffer sentences.
When picking a jury, the state & defender each get a number of strikes. Lawyers are not picking people for the jury, they are striking ones they don’t want to sit on the jury.
There is a lot of theater going on in the courtroom, lawyers consider what types of books (big, academic, well worn) to have on the table, what they should wear (a necklace with a cross, a wedding ring), what the client should wear (to cover up tattoos, look prim and proper), and who will be in the courtroom supporting the defendant (family members, possibly an investigator).
One of the most interesting points that Lisa discussed is one of her techniques to create a narrative for the jury around the client’s circumstance. For example, she might ask the jury at the beginning of a drug case what they know about domestic violence, and then drop that line of thought. She might do that because later in the trial she wants the jury to connect the client’s criminal activity to her need to survive an intolerable domestic situation. Perhaps the female client was selling drugs, because an abusive boyfriend was forcing her to do so, and the drugs were really his
She also talked to us about:
- Motion-in-Limine, and why a mistrial might be declared.
- Some of the ways sentences for offenses like DUI or assault are determined.
- Why a victim might want to make a deal.
- How Victim Impact Statements or Allocution can influence sentences.
- Why all of the lawyers’ behind-the-scenes negotiations must be kept from the jury
- Why she choose to become a public defender
TUESDAY, March 3, 6:30 – 8:00 PM at The Edina Art Center.
Author Spotlight: Mickie Wowchak Turk will read from Cleaning Up The Bodies.
Guest speaker: Sergeant Robert Dale of the Minneapolis Police Department will join us and talk about the real world of homicide.
Discussion will focus on crime scene response and procedures, clues to look for, and interesting homicide cases. Sergeant Dale’s background includes: Minneapolis Police Department; Violent Criminal Investigations Division-Homicide Unit; BA in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; Masters Degree from the University of St. Thomas; Minneapolis Police patrol officer from 1997-2007; sex crimes investigator (sergeant) from 2007-2008; homicide investigator (sergeant) from 2008 to present.
Thanks to all the Sisters and Brothers in Crime who make this an active, supportive group!