Friday, October 23, 2009

Larry Langford Trial

I try and refrain from making comments on pending cases. However, the current criminal trial of Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford provides too many teachable moments to ignore.

Langford was indicted on a number of public corruption as well as tax related charges. The Government has already introduced testimony from co-conspirators Bill Blount and Al La Pierre who have already plead guilty.

The Defense indicated in their opening statements that they will rebut this evidence with testimony that the clothing and jewelry purchases made for Langford were gifts and not bribes. Usually, the Defendant does not take the stand but in this case it is quite plausible that Langford will testify in his own defense.

If Langford takes the stand then his credibility will be weighed by the jury against that of Blount and La Pierre. Who is more believable? The defense will argue that Blount and La Pierre's sentences will be based on the strength of their testimony against Langford.

Public corruption cases can be very broad and cover some very detailed material. Will the Prosecution be able to explain some very complex bond transactions transactions in a way that the members of the jury can understand?

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