Thursday, March 09, 2006

Campbell case: It's up to the jury

The jury now has the case in the Bill Campbell corruption trial in Atlanta. As expected, the defense played the race card in its closing argument:
Prosecutors said Campbell indulged in high-stakes gambling and extravagant extramarital affairs, whereas defense lawyers portrayed him as an honorable family man and civil rights hero who had been unfairly targeted by the federal government. ...

Martin reminded jurors that Andrew Young, a civil rights leader and former mayor of Atlanta, recalled from the stand how Campbell was the first black child to integrate public schools in Raleigh, N.C.
"Some people might say, 'Come on! We're going back there?' " Martin said. "Yes, we're going back there. That's where Bill Campbell started before the FBI and the IRS came in."
He suggested that the title of the 2003 movie "Kill Bill" aptly described the government's prosecution of Campbell.
"They stooped so low," Martin said. "They hope they can make you so mad at Bill Campbell that you lose sight of justice."

Right. At least 10 people have been convicted or pleaded guilty in the schemes of which Campbell is accused, in an investigation that began during the Clinton administration, and yet all of this is just part of The Man trying to "Kill Bill."

I have predicted from the start that no Atlanta jury would ever convict the Democratic mayor of jaywalking. "Guilty as hell, free as a bird." But as George Will says, the best thing about being a pessimist is that you're never disappointed and even when you're wrong, it's a pleasant surprise.

Previous DONKEY CONS commentary on the Campbell trial is here.