I only saw the briefest of clips, but by news accounts it appears that Baez did an excellent job on his closing argument. He has been trying this case under the most difficult circumstances imaginable and has demonstrated a great deal of poise and resilience.
Two particular notes. First, effectively pointing out how the prosecution’s case was so largely character assassination was brilliant. It takes what the prosecution actually did in court that everyone could see and uses it against them to undermine their credibility. It plants the seed in the minds of the jurors that it is the state that is trying to get one over on them by appeals to emotion and anger. This addresses every juror’s biggest concern – that they are going to be tricked into deciding the wrong way – and suggests very powerfully that it is the state that is trying to trick them.
Second, confronting the smirking of prosecutor Ashton was bold and effective.
There didn’t seem to be a lot that was argued to point the finger at George Anthony. Perhaps there wasn’t very much in evidence, or perhaps these aspects of the closing argument were not fairly reported, or perhaps for tactical reasons Baez didn’t go very far with that point because it had been so badly undermined by the judge’s rulings.
All in all, though, I would have to say that Jose Baez did a fine job during the trial and on his closing argument.
It is a strange period for lawyers after the case has been handed to the jury. What do you do? Go back to the office and work on something else? You can do that, but you’re subject to being interrupted at any moment because the jury has a “question”. Plus, it’s hard to concentrate on something else when an important matter is under deliberation.
You can pray. For the most part, that has been my practice. But I never prayed to win; I prayed for justice to be done. I might be weird that way, but it never seemed to me that praying to win was appropriate.