Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Scrushy Trial Starts Up Again

After a one week hiatus, the trial of Richard Scrushy has resumed.  After the fifth of the Guilty CFOs, Weston Smith, completed his direct testimony on Monday, March 21, the court cancelled Tuesday's session because of a juror's illness, and a planned recess for the rest of the week started a day early.  The sick juror has now been dismissed, and the cross-examination of Smith by Scrushy's lead trial counsel, James Parkman, took on what appears to be the usual line of attack questioning the veracity (and sincerity) of the witness.  An AP report (here) quotes Parkman as asking Smith "There weren't any tears coming out of your eyes, were there?" with regard to his breaking down during the direct examination.  Another interest tact was questioning Smith about his assertion of the Fifth Amendment 86 times during testimony in the SEC's request for a freeze on Scrushy's assets, a proceeding in which Scrushy also asserted the Fifth Amendment.  Will the judge permit a similar line of questioning to Scrushy if he chooses to testify?  With the trial moving in fits and starts, it will be interesting to see if the government tries to wrap up its case quickly now that it doesn't have any more Guilty CFOs to call as witnesses. (ph)

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