Friday, April 11, 2008

Interesting state case

Rumpole has been covering an interesting state case about how far our drug laws really reach. In closing argument, the defense lawyer argued (via Miami Herald):

''The only thing that is clear in this case is that the government is completely abusing its power in applying the law to my client,'' Morris told the jury, to the objection of the prosecution. Circuit Judge Jacqueline Hogan Scola told the jury to disregard the comment.

I love trials and evidence questions -- so I put this to you, my loyal blog readers: is this argument objectionable? Should the objection have been sustained? By my asking the question, I'm sure you know my opinion...

BTW, still no news on Liberty City. This jury has been out longer than LB7. Would the govt try it a third time?


Anonymous said...

As to the Liberty City case, when are we finally going to hear the words "NOT GUILTY" !!!!!? Another 9 to 10 weeks of this would be insane.

Anonymous said...

The real argument that was objectionable was the one the prosecutor made:

"''We can't forget that he was in the middle of traffic, the fact that he was yelling at traffic, the fact that he was causing a danger,'' Assistant State Attorney Forrest Andrews said.

''This case is more than just having a loved one's prescriptions,'' he added.

3rd DCA no likey that.

Anonymous said...

Judge Lenard should roll state court style and order Mr. Acosta to come on down and try the case is he believes in it so much.

Love when the State Judges do that to career criminal chief who won't approve pleas for pit ASAs on ridiculous cases...seems to resolve them pretty quick

Anonymous said...

That appears to be an appeal for jury nullification, which would not be an appropriate argument and therefore the objection should have been sustained, as it was. I may disagree with the rule and think that jury nullification is, in my mind, one of the reasons for a jury system, but the rule is what it is.

Rumpole said...

No fair- you removed my reply to J Thompson. Now I know how the readers of my blog feel.

Anonymous said...


Jury says it's deadlocked in terror case
Posted on Fri, Apr. 11, 2008

Associated Press

The jury is deadlocked in the second trial of six men accused of plotting to destroy Chicago's Sears Tower and blow up FBI offices.

The jurors sent a note on their 10th day of deliberations Friday that they cannot agree on verdicts for any of the six defendants. U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard immediately ordered them to keep trying.

The first jury in the ''Liberty City Seven'' case also reached a stalemate on the six men. A seventh man was acquitted after the first trial, which ended in December.

The men face up to 70 years in prison if convicted of four terrorism-related conspiracy charges. Alleged ringleader Narseal Batiste testified he wasn't serious about terrorism and was only trying to con $50,000 out of an FBI informant posing as an al Qaeda operative.

Anonymous said...

It is an improper comment b/c of an appeal to jury nullification (2:27 had it right) but it is also improper b/c counsel should not refer to potential penalties in closing. However, you can always argue in good faith for a modification or change in existing law. That being said, the lawyer did the right thing by saying it. Some rules are meant to be broken, or at least bent. When are we going to stop this ridiculous war on drugs?