Wednesday, January 30, 2008
The Wesley Snipes tax trial is moving very quickly as the defense decided to rest without calling any witnesses (see here and here). The celebrities mentioned earlier did not appear on the witness stand. The pros and cons of offering no evidence, and Snipes not testifying, are discussed here. And although a jury is clearly instructed that the defense does not have to prove anything, one often wonders if the jury will follow this mandate. The defense resting moved the case quickly into closing arguments (see here and here).
There are many levels to this trial. On the surface we see the courtroom battle with many years without tax returns, but also a question as to why he may not have filed them. Was it a conspiracy or was there a legitimate question? We also see a case in closing arguments while outside the courthouse an election is occuring. And finally we see an all-white jury coming from an all-white venire deciding the guilt or innocence of Snipes.