A Correction to Yesterday’s Sketches

Yesterday at the trial of Baltimore police officer William Porter I sketched what I believed were the victim’s mother and sister, but when Freddie Gray’s mother broke down sobbing and had to leave the courtroom I realized I had been mistaken. That is not Freddie Gray’s mother in the sketch, though I do think that is Gray’s sister with the white pom pom hat.

Here are the rest of yesterday’s sketches:

Posted in Courtroom Tagged with: , ,

First Freddie Gray Trial Gets Underway

This morning the press gathered in the Media Room before final jury selection.

The jury was empanelled in short order and opening statements were heard. Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby took a seat directly in front of a bench full of sketch artists, but maybe thought that wasn’t such a good idea and moved back a couple of rows just before Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Michael Schatzow began his opening statement.

 

Defense attorney Gary Proctor painted the jury a different picture of the defendant, Officer William Porter.

 

With opening statements completed, the State called their first witness, Officer , who trains police on how to identify and respond to possible medical conditions such as Freddie Gray’s.

 

The judge has kept the trial moving swiftly and promises to finish in just two weeks. We shall see.

 

Posted in Courtroom Tagged with: ,

Jury Selection In First Of Freddie Gray Trials

Baltimore City police officer William Porter stood before a courtroom full of prospective jurors as his trial began. Porter is the first of six police officers to go on trial for the death of Freddie Gray.

After some preliminary questions were asked of the jury pool individual void dire moved into chambers so there was not much to sketch, especially as the jurors are not to be identified.

Freddie Gray Trials

Around half-past noon one of the jurors in the back of the courtroom stood up to get the bailiff’s attention. He pointed to the clock above his head, and then to his belly indicating that he felt it was time for lunch. He also motioned that he would like a cigarette break. Lucky for him the court soon adjourned for lunch.

Posted in Courtroom Tagged with: ,

The Subway Guy Goes To Prison

The former spokesman for the Subway chain of sandwich shops sat in an Indianapolis courtroom Thursday morning waiting for the ax to fall on life as he knew it. Once worth fifteen million, Jared Fogle, who became famous for losing over 200lbs on a diet of Subway sandwiches and exercise, was about to plead guilty and be sentenced on charges related to his predilection for kiddie porn and young prostitutes.

After he entered his plea Jared’s lawyers called two witnesses. The first witness, a Canadian psychiatrist, testified by phone that Fogle exhibited “mild pedophilia”, a diagnosis which does not exist in U.S. according to the defense’s second witness, Dr Rick May.

The government then put a detective on the stand to read from some of Jared’s text messages where he was seeking to procure juveniles for sex. “Did you find some young girls or boys?” Fogle texted to an 18 year-old prostitute saying he would pay $400 for someone 16 or younger, more if their age could be documented.

The government and defense then sparred over the extent to which “the Subway guy” was culpable in the harm he caused and the danger he remains to children. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven DeBrota said Fogle did nothing to stop the child pornography created by his partner-in-crime and director of The Jared Foundation, Russell Taylor, but rather participated “enthusiastically”.

When it was the turn of the defense, Jeremy Margolis, argued that Jared “traded a horrible food addiction for a horrible sex addiction.” He said Fogle has seen the “crashing and burning of his life” but is committed to getting well.

Then it was Jared’s turn to address the court.

“Where do I even try to begin, your honor? For most of my adult life, I’ve been in the spotlight, trying to be a positive role model for others,” Fogle said. “I became dependent on alcohol, pornography and prostitutes” he continued, apologizing to his victims as he wiped away a tear.

Judge Tanya Walton Pratt went beyond the prosecutions recommendation of twelve and a half years saying, “the level of perversion and lawlessness exhibited by Mr. Fogle is extreme,” imposing a sentence of 188 months.

In this last unfinished sketch Jared Fogle is seen removing his jacket, tie and belt before marshals handcuff him. He blew a kiss and waved to friends and family members before being led out of the courtroom.

Jared Fogle Plea & Sentencinga

Posted in Courtroom Tagged with: , , , , ,

Class-Action and Tainted Assets

Umbrellas on the Supreme Court plaza yesterday morning, while inside I sketched two arguments.

The first argument, Tyson Foods v Bouaphakeo, concerned Iowa slaughterhouse workers and whether they could meet the test for a class-action lawsuit.  Lyle Denniston reports on it here.

In the second argument, Luis v. U.S., Sila Luis, who bilked Medicare for tens of millions of dollars and had her assets frozen, wants to be allowed to use the “untainted” portion of her frozen assets to pay for her Sixth Amendment guaranteed lawyer of her choice. SCOTUSblog’s Amy Howe has the story here.

Posted in Arguments, Supreme Court

A Common Theme?

The week before last – time flies, I’ve been busy – I went on the road to cover two hearings a few hundred miles apart though in some ways alike. Both defendants were at one time coaches, and both are suspected of sexual relations with young boys.

In Chicago former House Speaker Dennis Hastert pleaded guilty to a felony charge of concealing large withdrawals of cash. By doing so he avoided a trial and possible testimony from the victim he was paying off.

The next day, in Bellefonte, PA, former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky appeared in court as his lawyer sought to challenge the grand jury investigation that led to the charges of child sexual abuse of which Sandusky was convicted in 2012.

 

 

Posted in Courtroom Tagged with: , , ,

Redistricting and Three-Judge Panels

A dazzling fall morning on the Supreme Court plaza as spectators line up for oral arguments.

One of those arguments, Shapiro v. McManus, was about whether a lawsuit challenging Maryland redistricting should be decided by a three-judge panel. It’s a bit technical and I won’t attempt to explain. The New York Time’s Adam Liptak reports on the argument here.

Be sure to read to the end of Liptak’s article for the exchange between Maryland Assistant Attorney General Steven Sullivan and Justice Scalia on the topic of “little green men and extraterrestrials”.

Posted in Arguments Tagged with: ,

A Statuary . . I Mean Statutory Argument

“. . . under the laws of any State relating to aggravated sexual abuse, sexual abuse, or abusive sexual conduct involving a minor or ward . . . “

Today’s argument in Lockhart v. United States turned on what Congress meant in a statute so poorly drafted Justice Alito gives it a “D”.

The petitioner in this case, Avondale Lockhart, was caught in a child pornography sting and pleaded guilty. At sentencing he faced a mandatory minimum ten-year enhancement because of a previous state conviction for attempted rape of his girlfriend. Lockhart argues that the sentencing enhancement only applies if the prior conviction was for an offense “. . . involving a minor or ward”, and that in the language quoted above “aggravated sexual abuse” and “sexual abuse” are qualified in the same as “abusive sexual conduct”. 

The lower courts, of course, found otherwise.

It sounded like a lively and perplexing argument, and I hear form some of the reporters present that Lockhart may win to some degree.

Posted in Arguments, Supreme Court Tagged with: ,

Today’s SCOTUS Sketches

As arguments were about to begin today Chief Justice Roberts reminded lawyers of Chief Justice Rehnquist’s admonition to not look up at the courtroom clock. The reason, not the same as Rehnquist’s, was that the two clocks in the courtroom were showing different times, neither of which was correct, and the minutes hands were moving in stops and starts. It seems that, just like last year, setting the Court’s clocks back an hour at the end of Daylight Saving is no easy matter.

The Court heard two interesting arguments, neither of which I’ll comment on since I’m about as good at explaining as the Court is at setting a clock.

The first argument, Foster v Chatman :

. . . and the second argument, Spokeo v. Robins :

Posted in Arguments, Supreme Court Tagged with: , ,

Ahmed Abu Khatallah

It had been almost a year since the only suspect in the attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi appeared in court a couple weeks ago. Still looking very much like an Old Testament prophet, Khatallah took notes as defense lawyers asked a judge to throw out some of the charges against him.

The judge did not rule on the defense motions. No trial date has been set, nor has the government decided whether to seek the death penalty.

Posted in Courtroom Tagged with: , ,
BasicIllustratorFileLetter—CS
2013_Blawg100Honoree_300x300
TWITTER @courtartist

Blog Updates

Enter your name and email below to receive blog updates via email.