After closing arguments in Kwame Kilpatrick’s Public Corruption Trial, I posted an entry asking that everyone remain patient and allow the jurors to deliberate. The “they’ll never convict” brigade was led by those that had no idea how diligent, meticulous and engaged the jury was.
I was confident that a verdict would be rendered because I took the time to read the indictment, attend some of the jury selection process, sat through some of the proceedings, read the jury instructions, read the daily courtroom briefings and attended everyday of the closing arguments. I also took the time to observe the jury and I saw how serious they took the civil duty that they were tasked with.
I was confident that they would convict the defendants.
I am not here to gloat. Yesterday was a tragic day in the history of Detroit. I paid attention to the evidence and what was being presented by the government. I watched during jury selection as some of the defendants laughed openly in court – or even fell asleep. I recalled the former mayor proudly boasting: “I want to tell you Detroit, you have set me up for a comeback”.
Well, that comeback has been stymied by a federal jury that did not buy into this notion by many that he was such a brilliant and gifted man. I have never been one to see Kwame Kilpatrick as some charismatic wonder boy. My impression of him has been one of a bully, fast talker, and three-card-molly professional. And the notion by L. Brooks Patterson that – had he not been in his current situation – he would have been a formidable candidate to replace Senator Levin makes me “LOL.”
Mr. Kilpatrick did not get what he deserved yesterday, but the evidence proved that the jurors were smarter than he was. That’s another character flaw of this once-admired young man. His arrogant demeanor could have rubbed the jury the wrong way. One juror (#11) made it clear during the selection process and reiterated it again yesterday that she voted for him twice. However, she went on to say that the more that she learned about him, it did not make her angry – but disappointed in herself. It made her sick to her stomach.
I sat on the Q & A with the jurors after the reading of the verdict – they were steadfast in maintaining that they knew the correct decisions were made. Juror #12 poignantly said they were speaking for the community with their verdict. They proved that the system worked the way it is intended to do. Most importantly, there cannot be any cries from anyone about the makeup of the jury not favoring Mr. Kilpatrick and his co-defendants. I doubt if there could have been a more diverse group of people deciding the fate of these men.
Unfortunately, there are still many out there who feel that the former mayor was wronged by the government. That minority of people will have to accept the conclusion that the jurors came to – and move on.
Now Detroit needs the leadership of someone that cares more about public service than enriching themselves.