November 30, 2005
Ryan Case A Slow One
According to the Chicago Tribune here, prosecutors are not happy at the speed of the trial of former Governor Ryan. But the judge refused, at this time, to place limits on questioning witnesses to speed things along. This may be the classic case of balancing efficiency with preserving the accused's rights. Clearly, a person facing jail time deserves to have their case heard in full to the jury.
One question not answered here is when did the defense receive their discovery material. In many instances Jencks material are not provided to defense until immediately before trial. Unlike Brady material, material exculpatory to the accused, the prosecution is not required to provide Jencks material until after the witness has testified. The late arrival of this discovery material can often slow down a case. It takes time for the defense to read, digest, and investigate material provided to them. Shorter cross-examinations are often a function of having the time to fully prepare for the trial. Now, this may not be the case in former Governor Ryan's trial, but it certainly can be in some cases.
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