Light at the End of the Tunnel
It looks like, after about five months, the long-lasting trial of former Governor George Ryan may actually be coming to a close. In discussing scheduling issues, Webb again declined to show his hand about calling his client to the stand to testify. But in so doing, he inferred that the witness list may be getting shorter. From CBS-2:
(AP) CHICAGO George Ryan may take the witness stand in his own defense as early as next week, the former governor's defense attorney told his racketeering and fraud trial Thursday.The issue of character witnesses also continues to play itself out.* The defense would like to score some points as the result of Ryan's death penalty work, but the prosecution has been quick to remind them that character witnesses are a two-way street.
"I will make the decision at the time," defense attorney Dan K. Webb told U.S. District Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer, leaving himself the option of keeping Ryan off the witness stand.
Webb also said as the trial headed toward the end of its 19th week that if Ryan and co-defendant Larry Warner take the witness stand, they would be the final defense witnesses.
Pallmeyer told jurors that the long trial is coming to an end and that she would not be drawing up a work schedule for the month of March because one might not be needed.
If Ryan were convicted, he might face a stiffer sentence if prosecutors could prove to Pallmeyer that he lied under oath while on the stand.
Prosecutors said Wednesday that if Ryan's defense team uses their character witnesses to slip in testimony about the death penalty, the government should be able to tell jurors about the November 1994 Wisconsin expressway disaster that killed six children.*Don't be surprised if at least one sitting legislator takes the stand in this case. (No, not me. I said what I had to say on this issue here.)