Thursday, January 17, 2013

Liars or Heroes?

That's the question for the jury today in the case of Raul Iglesias, the Miami police officer on trial for allegedly planting evidence. The prosecution has called the witnesses heroes and the defense has called them liars.  I know this was a hard fought battle between Rick Diaz for the defense and Rick Del Toro and Michael Berger for the prosecution, in a case where the defendant testified. 

Should be interesting to see what happens.  More from closing (via the Miami Herald):

“We had four eyewitnesses — police officers who stood up to corruption, who stood up to what was wrong,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Ricardo Del Toro told the 12-member jury during closing arguments Wednesday.
“What reason do these guys have to lie? None,” added fellow prosecutor Michael Berger. “Which person has the only reason to lie? That’s the defendant. And that’s because his liberty, his job and his livelihood are at stake.”
On Wednesday, his defense attorney, Rick Diaz, argued that none of the four detectives in Iglesias’ unit testified that they ever witnessed him stealing drugs seized from street dealers, and only one claimed he saw the supervisor swipe money confiscated from a trafficker in April 2010. Diaz said that detective’s testimony was a lie, pointing out that the dealer testified at trial that he had no money on him.
Diaz told jurors that an anonymous letter was sent on April 13, 2010, to Miami police’s Internal Affairs, claiming Iglesias stole drugs and money from dealers two to three times a week over a four-month period. He said it was written by detectives seeking revenge against their new boss because he was trying to tame the “undisciplined” squad and transfer a few officers.
“That letter came back and hit them in the head like a boomerang,” Diaz told jurors, adding that the prosecution’s case doesn’t “mathematically” add up. He suggested that Iglesias’ former undercover officers, internal-affairs detectives and FBI agents were “trying to set this man up.”
Diaz strived to portray Iglesias, an 18-year police veteran who served with the Marines in the Iraq War, as a man of character who deserved to be acquitted on all nine counts.
“This is all or nothing for Raul Iglesias,” Diaz implored jurors. “Make no mistake about it.”

No comments: