Christopher Deedy, George Zimmerman, and Opening Statement Strategy

Today the trial of Christopher Deedy started with their opening statements. To listen to one side, he was a law enforcement officer protecting an innocent. To believe the other, he was a drunk haole initiating and escalating a confrontation. Luckily today I was able to watch most of the opening statements of both the Prosecution and the Defense. The purpose of today’s blog is not to regurgitate their arguments or decide who is correct, I’ll leave that to other outlets. The purpose of this short entry on my website is to talk about why they Prosecution or Defense chose to couch their arguments in certain ways.

I want to make clear from the outset, if you’re related to either side or invested in either side winning, this article is NOT for you. It is not meant to be a critique of the merits of the case or about who is correct. It’s meant to explain to someone not knee deep in trial work why an experienced attorney would argue things a certain way.

That being said, as always, let’s begin with a story: (click more for the rest)

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Solving Prostitution Part II

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This all started because I read a petition that used sensationalism over substance to achieve a visceral reaction to gain a signature for a petition. A member of the Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery told me that he agrees with me that the law DOES undisputedly contain a a way to detain juveniles without criminalizing them.

But that part of the petition remains unchanged. Which means they still choose pretty fiction over uncomfortable fact.

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Earlier this week I sat down with the Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery. After explaining everything to them, After their representative saying they AGREE with me on my point about the law, they amended a PART of their petition (to something that is still wrong). But the first sentence of their petition is still WHOLLY A LIE. It’s absolutely not true. I showed EXACTLY where in the law they can “detain juveniles without criminalizing them”, and they prefer to keep it as the lead in their petition. Probably because it is effective. It is only effective to people who don’t know what the law reads.

Basically there have three responses once they are made aware:

      1. “Marcus, we won’t change it because you read the law wrong. HERE IS WHY you read the law wrong, HERE IS WHERE the law says something different than what you say.”
      2. “Marcus, you read the law right, so we will change the petition to be intellectually honest.”
      3. “Marcus, its a great pitch, why should we change it?

      Guess which they’re going with so far? Change it to be honest with the people you’re attempting to convince. They’ll quote you, they’ll then get corrected. Then they’ll blame you for leading them on..

      (and the one edit they did make is wrong, here is the correct chart of the park closure vs. prostitution punishments:)

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      Intellectually disingenuous.

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      Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery – Landsberg Law Office

      I read something on a friend’s webpage today, a friend who I trust and respect to use the brain and best judgment. And when I read it, it literally blew my mind.

      I. Here is where I lose friends.

      What I’m talking about is a petition by the Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery, read it first here: http://www.change.org/petitions/pass-safe-harbor-end-demand-for-prostitution-laws-in-hawaii. Read that first for the context. I don’t think I’ve thought this hard about potential new laws since the Food Truck mess. I would point out, after my post on Bill 59 (still one of the most popular posts on my minor webpage) Tulsi Gabbard took the bill back into committee and made pretty much 100% of the changes I advocated. This is tough love. I post this to help you.

      After reading that petition and reviewing the PASS – PACIFIC ALLIANCE TO STOP SLAVERY webpage, I immediately reached out through the network of professionals I deal with everyday in the Juvenile justice system. The network includes Prosecutors and Defense attorneys; their experiences and their contacts, including actual cases and Probation Officers. The juvenile justice system in Hawaii is confidential, meaning I can’t betray names or individual cases, but I can talk about specifics using generalities to explain particular points. I’ve also written about the juvenile justice system here before. I have also been published in the Star-Advertiser with my views on the Juvenile justice system.

      II. The Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery Petition:

      The very first sentence of that above webpage reads: “Currently, Hawaii has no protocol to legally detain juveniles rescued from prostitution without criminalizing them.” The first sentence is the first misstatement of the law.
      Hawaii Revised Statute 571-31 “Taking Children into custody; release; Notice;” reads (more…)

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