Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Liberty City mistrial

The Liberty City jury hung for a second time today. Judge Lenard will have a hearing next Wednesday to find out if the government will proceed a third time and if so, when that trial will be rescheduled. Lots of coverage from all the regulars.

I will re-post my questions from an earlier entry:

Well then SDFLA readers, should the government retry the case for a third time?

Don't two mistrials demonstrate that the government has a proof problem? [edited to get rid of the double negatives referenced in the comments]. When do we reach that point? After 5 hung juries? 10? I think 2 is the number....

What about bond? If there is a mistrial, and the government decides to proceed a third time, certainly the remaining six should receive bond. Pretrial detention for defendants who haven't been convicted after two trials can't be right.

The court appointed lawyers must be sweating. One of these long CJA trials is enough to cripple a practice, but two back-to-back is almost impossible to come back from. If a third trial were to start up right away, I'm not sure how these lawyers could keep their private practices up and running...

I also feel terrible for the prosecutors trying the case. Their lives have been turned upside by the many months in back-to-back trials. And the decision to retry the case isn't theirs. The decision most likely isn't even being made here in Miami. It probably is being made by some lawyer in DC who won't have to endure 3 trials.

My prediction is that despite all of the above, the case will be tried a third time.

Finally, I feel for Judge Lenard. Can you imagine having to sit through the same lengthy trial 3 times. Shoot me now!

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Governemnt should try to save face by quitting now. Then, at least the Government could claim that it could have obtained convictions but decided not to continue because the case was too expensive to re-try.

Anonymous said...

If Mr. Acosta believes so strongly in the case, that it should be tried a third time, then he should get in the courtroom and do it himself.

Don't give me that BS that it is D.C.'s call, ala Ben Khune - that is just passing the buck.

Anonymous said...

2:02

You don't seem to appreciate that the US Atty's job does not include trying cases himself...that is why they have assistants.

Jerk.

Commodore said...

What's the big deal? Why can't the US Atty not try a case?

Anonymous said...

Any word on when they are starting up again?

Anonymous said...

Why is 2:02 a jerk? Why is it so unreasonable to suggest that the U.S. Attorney try a case? Other U.S. Attorneys have tried cases.
Grow up.

Anonymous said...

4:42

Name one. Acosta isn't a trial lawyer. Would it really be a wise use of his administrative authority to send in anything other than the office's best trial team on such an important case?

danielle said...

I strongly believe that two mistrials is proof that the state does not have enough evidence to prosecute these young men. Therefore if they do proceed with a third trial they should be released on bond. I personally knew two of the seven men that were originally arrested and this case disturbs me. The government is destroying the lives of these people who are only a few years out of high school. As far as I knew they were good kids. I'll always have faith in them and they are The prosecution has been unsuccessful at proving otherwise and no jury will be able to rule on this case. Free The Augustine Brothers

Anonymous said...

Why can't Acosta try a case? The number of trials has nothing to do with a person's ability in the courtroom.

Melvin Beli was criticized for representing Jack Ruby because he was not a criminal trial lawyer. Think he couldn't try a case?

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

what? the bottom feeding cja lawyers appointed would be delighted to try the case again!! they have no private practice thats why they are on the cja wheel. duh. retained trial attorneys would have walked these defendants in the first trial. a ror release is mandated.

Anonymous said...

11:20 you are a joke. There are 175 "bottom feeders" on the wheel?

Anonymous said...

175 bottom feeders on the wheel take one down, pass it around. 174 botttom feeders on the ..................

Anonymous said...

There are 2 kinds of lawyers on the CJA wheel, those who take an occasional appointment, and those who live off it.

Now define bottom feeders.

I would think its private defense lawyers who make their living from the government.

Accepting court appointments is an honorable thing. living off them is not.