- Feb 17, 2009
- Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
I have spent a lot of time lately thinking about the outcome in the Jesus Gonzalez trial lately. I'm sure a lot of people have. With only the small amount of information available it is easy to overlook the most important lesson that can be taken away from this case. When involved in any altercation with a firearm, do not testify against yourself. When Mr. Gonzalez called 911 (I have not read the 911 transcripts and I am only quoting from published accounts) and stated that two people tried to assault him and he fired shots at them he was asked by the dispatcher if the other men had guns or were armed, Gonzalez replied, "I don't know what they had," but they must not have known he was armed. This is the only testimony, that I know of, that Mr. Gonzalez gave in this case. That one response "I don't know what they had" was direct testimony from Gonzalez and may have been critical to overcoming reasonable doubt in this case. If Mr. Gonzalez had responded to the 911 dispatcher that he was not able to answer questions under the circumstances, or even just repeating that shots had been fired the outcome may have been different. You have the right to remain silent only if you don't talk.