Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Match-Up between Prosecution and Defense

Live from the Ted Stevens Trial

Washington, D.C.--

Six lawyers is a very large legal team for one criminal defendant, but that’s no more than half of the people working on the Ted Stevens legal team. Not counting the defendant himself, there were 12 people sitting at the defense table or at the bench behind at a hearing last week.

The prosecution also had approximately a dozen people at that hearing.

This massive investment on behalf of Ted Stevens is a far cry from what we saw in the three trials of Alaska state legislators occurring in Anchorage last year. In each of those public corruption cases tried in Alaska, the defendant was outgunned so badly it was embarrassing. It was like a freight train was roaring down the tracks on one man.

This case sets up very differently. With all of the resources expended on Stevens’ defense, this trial is more like two freight trains colliding—and it’s not clear which train will ultimately get the worse of it.

All this fine legal work for Ted Stevens doesn’t come cheap. It’s entirely possible that this defense is costing $175,000 per week during the trial, and that estimate could be substantially low. As one observer had pointed out, that figure would have bought very nice renovations to a house in Girdwood.

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