The Norman Transcript


October 22, 2013

Former OU professor faces nine counts; jury selection to be finalized this morning



Caswell and Smith also talked to the group about determining truthfulness, using common sense and motives for lying, whether it be an adult or child.

Several potential jurors talked about someone lying because they have a motive or reason to be untruthful, such as lying to protect someone they love. Others said sometimes a child may lie to get attention, try to get someone else in trouble or try to shift the attention and keep themselves from getting in trouble.

“Age plays a factor,” one of the potential jurors said.

A 5-year-old would only know what they see, whereas a 12- or 13-year-old may know how to play their cards, she said.

Another topic that received much discussion was the validity of a testimony from a child with an intellectual disability. One of the victims has an intellectual disability, Caswell said.

When Caswell asked the group if the disability could effect her credibility, many said no because while the victim may have the body of a 17-year-old, her mind is on the same level as some of the other witnesses.

Smith posed a question asking potential jurors if having an intellectual disability might be easier for someone to ask leading or suggestive questions to get the child to say what they want. Many said yes, they believe a child with mental health issues could be more easily led to answer the question how the interviewer wants them to.

Caswell also talked to jurors about different kinds of evidence used in cases, such as direct evidence versus circumstantial evidence.

She gave the example that with circumstantial evidence, you may tell a child not to eat any cookies, but if you find the cookie jar lid moved, cookies missing, follow the crumbs and find the child with chocolate on their face, it would be easy to tell that the child ate the cookie.

Text Only | Photo Reprints