Sample Closing Arguments Transcripts

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Following are sample transcripts that include closing arguments.

Closing Argument in Manslaughter Case

Case: Commonwealth of Virginia v. Raelyn Balfour

Summary: This transcript is the closing argument in a high-profile case in Virginia where a mother is on trial for manslaughter for accidentally leaving her infant in a car seat in the back of her car throughout the workday. The undisputed evidence was that she forgot to drop the child off at day care, and left him in the car unintentionally. The prosecutor argues that forgetting one's child in the car amounts to a "callous disregard' for human life - the necessary standard for involuntary manslaughter. Defense lawyer John Kenneth Zwerling argues that the defendant accidentally caused the tragedy, cared deeply for her child, and cannot possibly be found to have acted in callous disregard for him. The crux of the argument focuses on the very definition of manslaughter - what it is, and perhaps what it should be as applied to an honest lapse of memory. Of note is that Mr. Zwerling plays a tape of a 911 call during the closing argument, which depicts the defendant screaming and crying as she holds her child upon realizing she forgot him the car. The jury found the defendant not guilty.

See Cross-Examination, Opening Statements, Closing Statements, Theory of the Case, Sample Cross-Examination Transcripts