Ann Coulter

  • Winona Ryder: convicted of grand theft. Instead of having her throw herself on the state's mercy and beg for a plea bargain, Geragos took the case to trial, where the jury had to balance a videotape of Ryder caught in the act of stealing against Geragos' argument that the store security guards were mean to her. (If there was any more to the defense's theory, I missed it.) Geragos boasts that he won a sentence of only community service and probation for Ryder. That might be something to crow about if the prosecutor had asked for anything more than ... community service and probation.

  • Michael Jackson: fired Geragos almost immediately after hiring him. Jackson has sterile facial masks that lasted longer than this guy. I guess he figured, hey, it's no skin off my nose. As we go to press, Jackson remains a free man.

  • And now Geragos' client Scott Peterson has been convicted of first- and second-degree murder in a trial that I believe began sometime in the '80s ? which is good because you can always catch the trial highlights on VH1's "I Love the '80s."

    The only reason to hire Mark Geragos is if the only other attorney left on Earth is Mickey Sherman, aka the "Mark Geragos of the East Coast." And that's only if Long Island gunman Colin Ferguson, who famously represented himself at trial, is not taking new clients.

    But even Geragos and Sherman would never sneeringly dismiss evidence in a murder trial as "circumstantial evidence." Only nonlawyers who imagine they are learning about law from "Court TV" think "circumstantial evidence" means "paltry evidence." After leaping for the channel clicker for six months whenever the name "Scott Peterson" wafted from the television (on the grounds that in a country of 300 million people, some men will kill their wives), I offer this as my sole contribution to the endless national discussion.

    In a murder case, all evidence of guilt other than eyewitness testimony is "circumstantial." Inasmuch as most murders do not occur at Grand Central Terminal during rush hour, it is not an uncommon occurrence to have murder convictions based entirely on circumstantial evidence. DNA evidence is "circumstantial evidence." Fingerprints are "circumstantial evidence." An eyewitness account of the perpetrator fleeing the scene of a stabbing with a bloody knife is "circumstantial evidence." Please stop referring to "circumstantial evidence" as if it doesn't count. There's a name for people who take a dim view of circumstantial evidence because they don't understand the concept of circumstantial evidence: They're called "O.J. jurors."

    Speaking of O.J., I keep hearing TV commentators say the Scott Peterson jury was influenced by the O.J. jury. Besides the fact that the jurors themselves say O.J. never crossed their minds until the press started asking them questions, the comparison is absurd. Among the burdens liberals have placed on blacks is the nutty idea that all blacks are obliged to defend the worst elements of their race.

    White people don't feel a need to defend Jeffrey Dahmer or Scott Peterson. Go ahead, kill him. If we did, the Judgment at Nuremburg would have ended in a hung jury. In fact, the biggest dilemma we usually face after a case like Scott Peterson's is, "Lethal injection, or Old Sparky?"




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