Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Blago shuts up

Another fun thing about moving to the Land of Lincoln is that a former governor is always on trial.  I admit that I haven't followed the Rod (and Robert) Blagojevich trial too closely.  But there was some interesting news today:  the defense rested, and Blago took the Fifth

This was a surprise.  Blago's defining characteristic has been the inability to keep his mouth shut.  Arguably, idle talk was his only crime.  But today he took the advice of one of his lawyers (Sam Adams) over his own instinct and the advice of his other lawyer (Sam Adams, Jr.) and decided not to testify.  The theory is that the government didn't prove his case.  In fact, according to Blago, "the government in their case proved my innocence."

Of course, it's not unusual for a defendant not to testify.  But it is unusual when, as happened here, the defense lawyer told the jury during opening statements that the defendant is going to testify.  Trial lawyers are taught never to say anything in an opening statement that they can't back up during the trial.  This is why judges usually let lawyers say anything they want during openings -- because if they say something they can't prove, the jury will remember, and the jury will punish.  It will be interesting to see how it plays out here.   

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments on posts older than 30 days are moderated because almost all of those comments are spam.