Smiling Faces Sometimes

Friday, June 21, 2013

No Time for Justice

The jury selection process went quick for Paul Bergrin.

Paul Bergrin's court allowed less than three days for jury selection in an extremely complex case. George Zimmerman's court has allowed nine days and a jury was finally sworn in at the conclusion of the ninth day. The Zimmerman case is simple in comparison and with much less evidence admitted and many fewer testifying witnesses. There is also only one count charged.

Everything about the Bergrin trial was rushed and the defendant stifled in his questioning of witnesses to the point that he anticipated being told to hurry, hurry, hurry with each witness. If you have read the transcripts from this trial, then you're aware of how rushed Paul Bergrin was at every turn.

What you do not know is that after the slow trip from Newark back to Brooklyn every day, Bergrin was often left sitting in the vehicle for some time. By the time he made it back to his bed to sleep, he would have 4-5 hours at most before he had to do it all over again. Of course Bergrin was his own defense counsel to add to his limitations. How much time do you believe he had to prepare for the next day in court?

I have no clue how anyone else is, but if I do not have 8 hours sleep, I'm not all there. If I have 4 hours sleep, I'm almost non-functioning. You may recall the one juror that spoke to the news after the trial (Tad Hershorn). He described Bergrin in the last paragraph:

Now if you read the first 22 pages of the first day trial transcript, it's clear how USDJ Dennis Cavanaugh ran jury selection. Mr. Hershorn tried to get off of the jury and even brought a doctor's letter to the court, but the judge refused him:

BERGRIN 1 01_22_13 (link removed - contact me privately for a copy)

In Florida there are only six jurors unless it is a capital case, which the Zimmerman trial is not. There are twelve in a capital case. There are twelve jurors in a federal trial. The number of alternate jurors would be at the judge's discretion and is dependent on various factors. In the Zimmerman trial there will be four alternates and in Bergrin's trial there were six.

Before 3pm on day three of jury selection in Bergrin's trial there were 18 jurors sworn in. Read the trial minutes for 7, 8, and 9 January 2013, for an understanding of what took place in those three short days in preparation for this complex trial with so many witnesses testifying for the government:

Judge 'no time for justice' Cavanaugh was more concerned with rolling the docket. He is retiring this year. He could not care less. 

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