June 1992 - Of the Rankest Sort
From Robert Finlay
of Honolulu, HI, this testimony from "a hotly contested murder trial" involving a difficult, albeit zoological, point of evidence:
Prosecutor: On the photograph, what are on the brown, blood-like smudge?
Mr. Heu: From my zoological background, I keyed in on it because it had ants on it. [This was significant because it] indicated to me that it was fresh material rather than something that was days or weeks old.
Prosecutor: First of all, is there a difference between worker ants and soldier ants?
Mr. Heu: Yes. The soldier ants have large heads and the worker ants have small heads. The worker ants go out to forage - to find something. If it's a large find, the word will go back to the ant nest. The ants will send out more workers and if it's a big find, they'll send soldiers along.
Defense Attorney: I object to the materiality of the witness' statement.
The Court: Your objection is on the grounds of relevance?
Defense Attorney: Yes, sir. It's also hearsay as to what the ants tell each other
The Court (wisely): Objection overruled.