Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The Coleman Perjury Trial So Far

Some preliminary observations and questions on the Tom Coleman perjury trial, before our guest blogger Rev. Alan Bean's next piece is posted in the morning.

The first thing clear from Alan's missives is that, like Coleman himself, his attorneys will apparently stop at nothing to win the case. On Friday, John Neal told reporters at a staged media event that the judge missed a scheduled hearing. The judge labeled the comment "contumacious,"
which Alan helpfully explained means that Neal's actions showed contempt or disrespect for the court.

Second, Coleman's main criminal defense lawyer is a real piece of work -- Alan quotes one wag who said it was like Gordon Liddy and Jonnie Cochran had a baby and named it John Neal. But the subtext behind Alan's piece today isn't so funny: Coleman's lawyers successfully convinced quite a few jurors during voir dire,
(where lawyers get to ask questions of potential jurors), including some who might have been sympathetic to the Tulia victims, to excuse themselves without Coleman's team having to waste any juror strikes. That's a sign of a smart lawyer.

Finally, I have one question that maybe Alan can answer. Tom Coleman floats from low-paying job to low-paying job, but he has three attorneys of the type that don't come cheap: John Neal, Kirk Lechtenberger, and a former district judge from Plainview, Marvin Marshall.

I wonder who is paying their bills?

Thanks to Alan for guest blogging the trial. You're doing a great job.

UPDATE: Charles Kuffner wants Rev. Bean to keep blogging after the trial. Personally, I have mixed emotions. I agree he'd be a natural, but fear if he took up blogging we'd never see this book he's been working on for some time now. It's a dilemma.

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