Defending Oswald

This past year I was asked to participate in a mock trial of Lee Harvey Oswald by the State Bar of Texas, The Dallas Bar Association and for the Bench Bar Conference for the Eastern District of Texas. I acted as defense counsel for Lee Harvey Oswald in all three mock trials. We had to put on the entire exercise in 3 hours so we were very limited as to how many witnesses we put in front of our jury.

The same witnesses were used in each case. We were not allowed to put on witnesses establishing the various conspiracy theories so I was limited to destroying the credibility of the states witnesses and creating reasonable doubt. This is really no different from most criminal trials. Criminal trials are won more often by cross examining the Government’s witnesses than by putting on your own witnesses.

All three trials ended in a hung jury. Our jurors all had very strong opinions about the case which could not be changed in 3 hours. The trials were a lot of work but very enjoyable. My favourite trial was our first which we tried in a courtroom in the Records Building. That courtroom now serves as a Probate Court but in 1964 they tried criminal cases there and probably would have been the actual courtroom that Lee Harvey Oswald would have gone to trial in.


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