A jury not of his peers
mtippett | March 21, 2007 at 06:01 amby
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Conrad Black is in Chicago this week being tried by a jury of middle class mid-westerners. I worry that his defense team has misread the rhetorical and logical habits of their judges. The local team kept it simple:
It was a modern presentation, the latest thing in simplified, image-based evidence, and Mr. Cramer seemed to have keyed it to the mind of a sophisticated 10-year-old. (His own children were at the back of the room, watching Daddy do his work.) The prosecution's nifty charts and graphics had thrown Lord Black's defence team into a tizzy of activity over the weekend, trying to dream up visuals of their own.
Meanwhile, back in Canada-land:
Mr. Genson, on the other hand, did not have graphics in the same league as the government. He is not a shining light of the new holy way: He's a criminal attorney. He's also 61, and has weird blond hair, which is no kind of hair for a serious man to have. He sports a chin beard and suffers from dystonia, which makes him use a cane and limp and deliver his remarks from a stool, but gives his arguments a strange physical energy.
Mr. Genson decided to use old-fashioned words, and old-fashioned logic, to present his case. "Members of the jury, can you see my hand?" he said, holding it up. Several nodded. "Well," he said, "no, you can't, until I turn it and you see the other side."
We'll see if the basic strokes of the prosecution's narrative tilt this one in favor of Lord Black or if the strange ways of America's eccentric northern neighbours prevail. Time will tell.
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