On Dec. 30, 2015, comedian Bill Cosby was charged with sexual assault in Pennsylvania. These charges stemmed in part from various admissions Mr. Cosby made in a deposition in a civil suit. After learning this news, several thousand criminal defense lawyers scratched their balding heads as they Monday morning quarterbacked the decision to submit Cosby to a deposition.
There is a theme that permeates the news reporting of the 2008 financial crisis: no one went to jail as a consequence. In possible reaction to this theme, the U.S. Department of Justice recently issued a bulletin that has since been referred to as the “Yates Memo.”
If we had told you three weeks ago that a man walked into the bathroom with a live microphone and did some things he would live to regret, you would have probably thought we were referring to a scene from “The Naked Gun” movie. By now, however, you know that we are referring to the statements suspected murderer Robert Durst made while “mic’d up” for an HBO documentary.
The effectiveness of grand juries has been in the news lately. In one case, a Missouri grand jury failed to indict a police officer in a case involving the death of an unarmed suspect. When inconsistent testimony was raised as a possible justification for this result, many opined that police needed to carry body cameras. However, approximately a week later, a New York grand jury failed to indict another police officer involved in the death of an unarmed suspect where the officer’s interactions with the suspect were caught on a cellphone video. This led lawyers and non-lawyers alike to wonder what happens behind the closed doors of grand juries. This article speaks to how grand juries are used in Indiana.
We advise our clients that unfortunately, delays can be part of the court experience. However, one thing we have never advised our clients to do is “tell the court how you really feel.” Or, as Dave Chappelle would say, we have never advised our clients to “keep it real” with the court.