Saturday, April 23, 2005

What's Good for the FBI Should Be Good for Scrushy

We posted here some comments on the opening by the defense in the Scrushy trial.  But it is a fascinating how the defense is putting the FBI to the same test as they expect of the former CEO of HealthSouth. When questioned about the evidence gathering process, FBI Agent Kelly admitted to not knowing what everyone within the FBI was doing in gathering evidence on this case. The defense here was trying to show the selective evidence gathering process that was favorable to the government. The defense also managed to show how people "in charge" just can't follow every action of those working under them. A brilliant trial strategy move here by defense Attorney Parkman to bolster the defense argument.

If defense attorney Parkman had just left that statement "as is" and tied it up in final arguments he might have had more success with the comparison.  But he chose to ask the next question -

"Then how can you say that Richard Scrushy ought to know what 50,000 employees are doing every minute of every day?" 

This allowed the witness the opportunity to explain the difference between knowing what the top executives in the company were doing and what FBI field agents might be doing. 

Defense Counsel has scored a few points here, but not as many as perhaps they might have been trying for with this witness. (See more in this AP story in the WSJ).


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