JANUARY 12, 2006
Prosecutors are finally winding down their case. The entire week was spent covering cases of co-defendant Larry Warner paying George Ryan chunks of money. (For example, at one point, Warner paid $3,067 to a band who performed during the marriage of Ryan’s daughter.)
Prosecutors also provided vignettes of different witnesses who tied together testimony of previous important witnesses to the case. Nothing, no matter how small, was covered without an extensive cross examination by the defense. Of course the government countered with an aggressive re-cross.
The jury would have to be brain dead to not understand the testimony. Several observers think that the case presented by special prosecutor Collins is overkill and that the case was easily made in the opening two weeks. However, I am not so sure because the case really hinges on subtle kick backs and schemes that, if taken singularly, could be considered innocent. Collins needs to show that this case is really about an accumulation of pay backs to Ryan and his family over a lengthy period of time in exchange for sweetheart deals that were steered to his friend, Warner.
The jury continues to appear alert despite the length of the trial. Maybe this explains why Judge Pallmeyer gives frequent breaks for the jury, has no court on Friday and has frequent jury days. Maybe it was intended to assure that the jury does not “breakdown” and wilt under the lengthy trial. If so, kudos to Pallmeyer, it seems to have worked.
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