Sunday, March 23, 2008

Undefendable Defense

In roughly 12 hours from now, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy will announce whether or not she intends to charge Detroit's Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick with a felony in connection with his less than honest testimony under oath and, if so, just what charges he will face. I previously posted on my other blog that I had done an informal survey of the attorneys that I know and they were evenly split as to whether or not Mayor Kilpatrick's misdeeds met the legal definitions of perjury.

I know that Mayor Kilpatrick's attorneys have to pursue a vigorous defense for their client. However, I was surprised to read in the Detroit Free Press recently that they would challenge the authenticity of the infamous text messages. Specifically, the paper reports that defense lawyers will challenge the Prosecutor to prove whose fingers where on keys when those racy messages were sent.

If there was only one or two messages in question then this might actually be a smart strategy. If nothing else, they could bring in that episode of Veronica Mars where Kristen Bell's character swipes a cell phone in order to prove that a text message could be faked. (Really, any excuse to see Kristen Bell works for me. But I digress.)

However, in the current situation, I have to believe that challenging the authenticity of those messages is quite possibly the stupidest defense that Mayor Kilpatrick's legal team could possibly mount.

I say this because neither Mayor Kilpatrick nor his former chief of staff Christine Beatty ever reported their cell phones stolen. While it is possible for someone to swipe a cell phone, use it to send a bogus message and then return it without being noticed, this becomes progressively less and less likely as the number of messages increases. Every time that someone would have tried to do this would present a new opportunity for them to be caught and eventually their luck would run out. With the sheer number of text messages in question, it seems unlikely that anyone would be able to take the Mayor's phone unnoticed that often.

There is also the issue of a response to a message sent. If I send a text message to one of my friends saying, "Hey, how about the bank we robbed last Tuesday," then I would almost certainly get a response back that says something to the effect of, "What are you talking about?" This, however, did not happen in the Mayor's case.

The fact that they had complete conversations would indicate that those message were sent by individuals with an intimate knowledge of all that happened, such as Mayor Kilpatrick and Ms. Beatty. In order for someone to fake both the original message and the reply, they would have to have both phones.

It's doubtful that anyone other than Mayor Kilpatrick and Ms. Beatty could obtain access to just one of those phones in and of itself often enough to send all of those messages. The idea of someone getting both phones simultaneously is doubly difficult to believe.

There is also the fact that, according to their initial report, the Detroit Free Press cross-referenced various events mentioned in those text messages with Mayor Kilpatrick's public schedule. They fact that they match up would mean that whoever sent those messages was intimately and personally familiar with the Mayor's schedule.

It was doubly difficult to believe that anyone but Mayor Kilpatrick and Ms. Beatty could have sent those message even without confirmation from his schedule. Adding that into the mix simply takes this argument into the realm of science-fiction.

Last, but not least, there is also the fact that if Mayor Kilpatrick and Ms. Beatty hadn't lied under oath about their relationship then I have to ask: what was it that Mayor Kilpatrick apologized for on television last month?

When one adds all of this up, the only conclusion that I can come to is that questioning the authenticity of those text messages is - in my opinion - a really, really foolish thing to do. It simply makes the Mayor seem desperate and his legal team inadequate.

Although, as a side note, I do have to recognize my counterpart at Detroit's leading gossip blog, D-Tales. She predicted back in January when this story first broke that this would be a part of the Mayor's defense strategy. I guess that woman does know a few things.

5 comments:

D-Tales said...

I am smart, S-M-R-T, I mean, S-M-A-R-T...

D-Tales said...

And here's the kicker: the defense will stand.

Despite all of the points (very valid) you make here. Despite how entirely impossible it would be for anyone else to have said the things they said with the knowledge they had. At the end of the day, it's all--ALL OF IT--speculation. And this defense will hold.

I'm not that smart, I just know the many different loopholes of our legal system. You're also forgetting that I can find a way to argue out of anything. Hm. Maybe I should be a lawyer...

D-Tales said...

Crazy thing about the law--there is no room for speculation. Which also means there is no room for logical deductions. There either IS, or there ISN'T. And, without logical deductions, can you really prove there IS here?

Okay, I'll stop bombarding your comments now.

FrankNemecek said...

Ever since the days of Immanuel Kant, we have known that we can never be absolutely certain of what we know. The fact of the matter is that all human knowledge is based up what our senses tell us and the logical deductions that we make based upon that information.

Luckily, when it comes to the law, no one needs to prove anything with absolute certainty; only to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.

And that is the problem that Mayor Kilpatrick will find himself in.

The simple fact that it's theoretically possible that someone else could have sent those messages is not enough enough to establish reasonable doubt.

Love & laughter,
Frank

Eduardo said...

I have to disagree with d-tales. I think he'll be tried and convicted. The bigger question is... What then?