Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Lawyer shocked witness with electric novelty pen

It was a courtroom stunt that could have gone well, proving the plaintiffs’ point, or it could have gone badly, angering the judge, misleading the jury, and leading to a mistrial, which is pretty much how it went down.

Watch: Crime Stoppers guy eats anonymous tip in court

Richard Masten, of Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers, was compelled to reveal a tip by a judge this week. Tips submitted to Crime Stoppers are anonymous so witnesses never need fear coming forward. Masten decided to take one for the team, and not only refused to let the judge see the tip, he ate it before the court.

Does it ever make sense to defend oneself in court?

Since 1975, Americans have had right to represent oneself in court. To do it, you just have to be deemed competent by the trial judge. But it is a good idea? We look at the most famous self-defense cases and the results. Before you do it, read this.

Video: Man Dies in Courtroom Following Guilty Verdict

Former Wall Street banker Michael Marin is suspected to have killed himself in court Friday after being found guilty of arson. Marin, 53, a one-time millionaire who burned down his house after being unable to pay for it, faced a 15 3/4 year sentence.

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