Jury selection has begun for my retrial, and my worst fears about the new attorney are being realized. S., my codefendant, was involved in the demonstration as a medic. She's charged with wearing a mask, among other things. S. seems like an okay person, and all of this has been very hard on her, but I still wish she would plead out.

I want her to plead for a number of reasons, first and most obviously because the prosecutor is going to try to use the evidence against her, evidence that I've been cleared of, against me. I want her to plead because if I'm tried with her, it will take more than twice as long and I want to go home. But most of all, I want her to plead because her attorney is incompetent and she's going to get my codefendant fried, and I don't want her to take me along.

My codefendant's attorney is not good at her job. She doesn't know the law. She's a lousy strategist. She fights with the other defense attorneys and doesn't understand that it's good for the prosecution when she does this. Worst, the case she's putting on is at best unprepared.

The defense she is putting on is essentially "look at my client, see how cute and sweet she is, don't convict her because she's just so adorable." And certainly, my codefendant is very pretty, but this shouldn't be a basis for acquittal. Just for a little contrast, the defense my attorney is putting on for me is "my client isn't guilty, she's a law-abiding citizen, and she was doing what the police told her to do." My other codefendant's defense is similar to mine. Unfortunately for us, we are not as attractive as the new codefendant, and people do acquit on this basis.

Further to her attorney's plan, she is trying to stack the jury with people who will be sympathetic to her case, which in this case is white men. Unfortunately, this is exactly the demographic that I want as far from my jury as possible. White men nearly convicted me last time, and while I've only got one charge now, it would be a shame to lose it. My attorney is trying to pick a jury devoid of white men, and is trying to choose for intelligence. My attorney tries to guess what the prosepective jurors are thinking, and why they say the things they say. My new codefendant's attorney takes everything on face value, and complained when my attorney kicked someone off that she liked, even though she'd just done the same thing.

Further than that, my attorney and I were willing to accept the jury as it was in midafternoon, which would have forced the prosecutor to go ahead with his opening statement, which he wasn't prepared for, and so would have seriously weakened his case by stumbling around, but the other two wouldn't go for it.

I am beginning to think that part of the judge's reasons for not severing the cases was so that the defense attorneys, who are not a team and cannot act like one, would trip each other up.

Next: May 11, 2002.
Previous: May 2, 2002.