“Oh yeah? Well, O’Mara is a poopy-face and he’s done wrong stuff too! Look! Squirrels! And lookit this: I’m so smart I can quote Shakespeare, and he can’t! Nyaaah, nyaaah!”
Thus is the substance of Special Prosecutor Bernard de la Rionda’s reply to Mark O’Mara’s motion for sanctions against de la Rionda for violation of his legal obligations.
In this series of articles I have often commented on the upside down nature of virtually everything about this case. It began before George’s Zimmerman’s arrest, when, bowing to the racial grievance industry and political pressure, Florida’s Governor and Attorney General appointed a special prosecutor. At that point, there was only one reason for that appointment: to arrest and prosecute Zimmerman regardless of the evidence. The Sanford Police Department had already conducted a competent investigation and had presented the facts to the local prosecutor who made an entirely reasonable and professional decision based on the evidence: there were no grounds to prosecute Zimmerman; he acted in self-defense under Florida law.
In the first article relating to this case (04-04-12), I wrote:
* The involvement of Florida state agencies in this case can be a valid and just exercise of executive authority. I worry that in the current climate that it will be anything but. State involvement may make the arrest and overzealous–perhaps even unwarranted–prosecution of George Zimmerman a foregone conclusion.
* The rare and extraordinarily rapid involvement of the Department of Justice and FBI in this case—under the direction of what is surely the racially biased leadership of Eric Holder–makes the federal prosecution and persecution of George Zimmerman a virtual certainty, regardless of the facts and for blatantly political and racial reasons.
* In most respects, the shooting of Trayvon Martin is unremarkable. Similar cases occur all the time and garner not a tiny fraction of the media attention focused on this case. The Martin case is all about slanting, hiding–even manufacturing–the “facts” to fit the preferred Media and progressive (but I repeat myself) narrative.
* The case, without a doubt, is now being manipulated for racial reasons and with the most base political motives.
* Mr. Obama, by once again injecting himself into a local police matter about which he knows less than nothing, has greatly complicated things. By posthumously rhetorically adopting Martin, Mr. Obama has handed Mr. Zimmerman’s future defense attorneys a powerful issue: he has essentially prejudiced the jury pool—all of America—to a degree that might make it impossible for Zimmerman to receive a fair trial. He has also stirred up racial animus and tensions rather than serving to calm them. Surely he couldn’t have intended that?
* Regardless of the eventual outcome of this case, it is likely that the ultimate victim will be justice.
I had no idea how accurate those predictions would turn out to be. At that point in the case, The Narrative was already nearly fully developed and the Legacy Media was in full-throated battle cry, disseminating a variety of falsehoods they would quickly have to walk back. Even Michelle Obama jumped on the racial bandwagon.
In Update 2 I documented the absolutely inadequate and bizarre charging affidavit, which not only failed to fulfill the elements of the second degree murder charge, but was plainly a political document, aimed at fulfilling The Narrative and inflaming those buying into it.
Without knowing of their work, I soon discovered that Mark Levin, Alan Dershowitz, John R. Lott Jr. and John Hinderaker of PowerLine held the same negative opinion of the affidavit. It was abundantly clear that the prosecution would try this case, first and foremost, in the court of public opinion rather than in the court of law.
In that update, I also commented on Prosecutor Angela Corey’s bizarre press conference announcing the charging of Zimmerman. Corey’s demeanor was akin to a politician thanking supporters for handing her an election victory. She praised Martin’s parents, calling them “those sweet parents,” and admitted she had been in daily contact with them, also thanking Scheme Team attorneys Crump and Parks for “their daily assistance in communicating with our victim’s family.”
I was to learn only later that daily assistance went far beyond communication with Martin’s parents into direct collusion with the prosecution, even potentially manufacturing false “evidence” against Zimmerman.
In Update 3 I wrote of the April 20, 2012 bond hearing where the first obvious signs of the crumbling of the prosecution came to the attention of the public (I’m not counting the affidavit, of course). Under direct examination by O’Mara, prosecution investigator Dale Gilbreath gave a surprising and disturbing look into the mindset and lack of ethics of the prosecution. Rather than answering directly, he dodged and weaved, claiming to have no idea who put certain phrases in the affidavit in quotation, despite admitting that it was only he, fellow investigator T.C. O’Steen and de la Rionda who completed the document. He also claimed to have no idea who put the term “profiled” into the document, and avoided defining the term.
Gilbreath also could not justify the use of “confrontation,” and looked very evasive in trying to avoid speaking of it. He admitted he had no idea who was calling for help, that he had no idea who started the “confrontation,” and that he had no evidence that conflicted with Zimmerman’s account. He also admitted that he never requested a copy of Zimmerman’s medical records and had never read them.
Any investigator responsible for a case of this magnitude must be intimately familiar with every facet of the case. That Gilbreath was not, that he–and of course, the entire prosecution team–had not even seen or tried to see evidence as important as Zimmerman’s medical records prior to charging him with second degree murder speaks to an incredible lack of competence, an utter disregard for due process, incredible arrogance, and likely, a prosecution driven by political conviction and confidence that they would have unassailable political cover regardless of what they did. Could they have firmly believed that the fix was in, and they could dispense with the usual safeguards that rightfully and reasonably constrain prosecutors?
In Update 6 I wrote:
We find ourselves in a bizarre sort of role reversal, a backward universe where day is night, up is down, and white is black is Hispanic or some combination of those three as it best serves the evolving narrative. On one hand we have the narrative where Trayvon Martin was an innocent child, a virtual nascent Rhodes scholar, “profiled” and wantonly murdered for being black and perhaps wearing a hoodie, by a huge, hulking cop-wanna-be brute many times his size, who relentlessly chased him down and murdered him as he ran for his life, wanting nothing more than to reach the safety of his temporary home. The senseless horror of the premeditated murder was made even more poignant by the fact that Martin, like all innocent child victims of profiling, was carrying tea and Skittles, an utterly irrelevant fact elevated to near-mythic status.
As the evidence has consistently revealed, the narrative, politically useful to those who seek to divide and inflame America, is almost entirely false. However, this narrative will never die, for there are those who need this particularly decomposed zombie to shamble along for as long as it is politically and financially profitable. It might be a new age truism that fact and evidence have little effect on the walking dead.
The role reversal was even deeper. In normal cases, prosecutors do not leak or otherwise release information to the press. They certainly do not coordinate with private attorneys with a financial interest in civil suits to line up witnesses and obtain perjured testimony, as we now know they did. They absolutely do not interview witnesses themselves, and they do not allow said attorneys to sit in on those interviews. And they absolutely never place the victim’s parents in the same room–to say nothing of sitting next to–witnesses while they are being interviewed. Anyone of normal intelligence can understand how this can and will influence the testimony of such witnesses.
Prosecutors are normally careful to avoid inflammatory statements, and in fact, commonly refuse to say anything about their cases to the press. They do not, in any way, try their cases in the court of public opinion. That’s commonly left for the less professional and ethical members of the defense bar.
Professional prosecutors also are delighted to turn over every bit of exculpatory evidence to the defense as soon as they have it. If they have a strong case–and professionals virtually never file weak cases–turning over all discovery is not only to their advantage, it is their duty under the law. To do less subverts justice. Ethical prosecutors let the defense make fools of themselves in public and in court. They let the facts and the evidence speak for them and only at the proper places and times.
But in this case, everything is reversed. There is now no doubt that the prosecution has been politically motivated and utterly unethical, even potentially criminal, from the start. It has been the prosecution that has leaked information and floated false rumors about Zimmerman, that has repeatedly violated its discovery obligations, that has actually lied to the court, and that has directed its efforts to winning the case in the court of public opinion rather than in the court of law. Of course, they hope for a conviction, but in important ways, that’s secondary.
To date, they have mostly gotten away with it, and if they do in fact have a belief that they are being politically protected and therefore have no obligation to uphold legal ethics or to obey the law, their behavior and rulings of the court to date would surely lead the reasonable observer to believe they have, thus far, been justified in that belief. The Narrative lives, and nowhere burns more fervently than in the hearts of the prosecutors and their supporters, or should I say, potential future co-conspirators?
With this background, let’s proceed to the matters at hand.
In Update 24 I reported on O’Mara’s motion for sanctions against de la Rionda, and his motion for related attorney’s fees. As this article is posted, Judge Debra Nelson has not ruled on these related motions (though she has denied, without providing any reasons, O’mara’s motion for reconsideration of her denial of a deposition of Benjamin Crump).
A quick review of the substance of the motion for sanctions is appropriate. It is based primarily on the fact that de la Rionda knew, as early as April 2, 2012, that DeeDee lied about her age and about being hospitalized because of emotional distress emanating from Martin’s death. Despite being asked multiple times, in court, personally, by e-mail and in writing about these issues, de la Rionda improperly withheld that exculpatory information until about 7:00 PM on March 4, 2013, the night before he would have been forced to reveal it in court at a scheduled hearing.
There is no question that de la Rionda violated Florida rules and potentially the law in purposely withholding exculpatory evidence. He even lied, in open court, to Judge Nelson in claiming that it was the defense that was causing delays, and that he was fully complying with his discovery obligations.
The tone and content of O’Mara’s motion is entirely factual and unemotional. He does not call de la Rionda–or anyone else–names, nor does he stoop to personal attacks. He does not refer to plays or use aphorisms to attack his opponents. Rather, he cites facts and evidence, and makes appropriate reference to related rules, cases and statutes.
O’Mara’s related motion for attorney fees explains, again in a factual, professional tone, how de la Rionda needlessly–and contrary to the law–delayed the videotaping of Dee Dee’s deposition on March 13, 2013 for more than five hours. Again, O’Mara supported his contentions with appropriate references to the applicable rules and laws.
De la Ronda’s response is, without a doubt, the most bizarre, emotional, counter-factual, and juvenile legal document I’ve ever seen. Consider the first sentence:
The only thing more inflated than Defense Counsel’s rhetoric is perhaps the alleged hourly fees cited in a second motion for payment of attorneys’ fees and costs.
Not only does de la Rionda mischaracterize the content and tone of O’Mara’s motions, this opening sentence sets the tone for his commentary. In a lengthy first page note, de la Rionda writes:
In a prime example of the calumny of Defendant’s Motion, the court should note that it was filed at essentially the same time as a motion containing an agreement from the state to extend the deadline to list witnesses (which Defense Counsel was requesting) in this case. When Defense Counsel was discussing this request with the undersigned, it is no apparent that at least one of the reasons he needed said extension was that he wasted considerable time preparing a request for sanctions against the very attorneys from which he was courting favor) never mentioned, of course, the fact that he was about to accuse them of misconduct). Such craven conduct exemplifies the lack of merit with respect to both the Motion, and its author.
Well. Let’s consider two definitions:
Calumny (n): A misrepresentation maliciously calculated to harm another’s reputation.
Craven (adj): lacking the least bit of courage: contemptibly fainthearted
Condensing this dense bit of rhetoric, we discover that de la Rionda, rather than addressing the direct and specific substance of O’Mara’s contentions, is claiming that O’Mara is lying about him to damage his reputation. And the evidence presented to sustain this charge? De la Rionda claims that while conducting the normal business of preparing for the trial, the mere fact that O’Mara was simultaneously preparing the motion for sanctions without telling de la Rionda first is somehow underhanded, contemptible and cowardly. And because O’Mara is cowardly, the judge ought to ignore him and his stupid motions.
It is interesting to note that de la Rionda is claiming that by daring to prepare a motion, which he claims took considerable time, O’Mara is being hypocritical and is himself causing the delay that de la Rionda is actually causing. Oh yes, and by asking de la Rionda for an agreement on extension for a witness list–de la Rionda uses the royal “we,” in writing “he was courting favor”–O’Mara was also somehow doing wrong. He was actually doing the daily business of a defense attorney.
De la Rionda begins, not by defending himself based on the evidence and the merits, but by attacking O’Mara’s motives, his character, and trying to deflect blame by accusing O’Mara of vague, unrelated ethical lapses.
Mr. de la Rionda, in the same note, then demonstrated his apparent lack of understanding of irony by snidely accusing O’Mara of filing the motions to line his pockets.
It gets worse. Much worse.
NOTE: Legal writing is supposed to be to the point, factual and easy to follow. Insults, asides, unfounded accusations, and avoiding the topic are unacceptable. Notes are acceptable only when they refer to such things as statute numbers and cases directly related to the points being made in the text.
On page two, de la Rionda misrepresents and misquotes O’Mara’s motion, claiming that O’Mara alleged that de la Rionda:
a) fail[ed] to disavow’ a media report made by a civil attorney ‘in various public forums.
and claimed that O’Mara was:
…demanding that the Court order the State to reimburse him and his colleague an amount to be disclosed at a later time.
O’Mara, in fact, wrote:
6. It is interesting to note that Mr. Crump has also contended in various public appearances that witness 8 was a juvenile, suggesting that she should, therefore, be entitled to even greater protection. The State Attorney’s Office, particularly Mr. de la Rionda, never disavowed, or corrected Mr. Crump’s statements that Witness 8 was a juvenile…
Language, particularly in the law, matters. O’Mara did not allege this to be a violation on the level of failing to provide exculpatory evidence for nearly a year, but included it merely as information supportive of his actual, primary charge. It also indicates the prosecution’s close relationship with Crump and the Scheme Team, but to claim it is one of two charges is a clear misrepresentation of O’Mara’s motion.
De la Rionda also misrepresented a matter of fact. In his motion for reimbursement, O’Mara provided a specific amount to be reimbursed, an amount de la Rionda admits he knows by his comments mocking O’Mara’s request for reimbursement on the first page of his reply.
NOTE: Attorneys are ethically bound not to misrepresent the arguments of others, and the law.
De la Rionda then spends more than a page of text talking about the straw man he erected, again claiming O’Mara wasted his own time, and writing:
Presumably he is seeking compensation now for time he spent following bad legal strategy and advice from anonymous internet trolls.
De la Rionda also departs even more completely from anything relating to the matter at hand by bringing up recent statements by Zimmerman’s brother, and noting that O’Mara responded to those comments:
Defense Counsel has stated with respect to such remarks that ‘He has his own opinions about things. He does not represent the defense.
Apparently when asked by a ravenous press to comment on Robert Zimmerman’s statements, by replying that Zimmerman did not speak for the defense (in effect, doing due deference to Zimmerman’s First Amendment rights), O’Mara was somehow doing wrong. De la Rionda then delivers what he apparently imagines to be an astute and telling literary admonition:
Counsel would do well to remember that concept in the context of claims like that in his Motion. “The world is full of pots jeering at kettles.’ LeRouchefoucald, Maxims #507.
De la Rionda misrepresents O’Mara, attacks a claim O’Mara never made, attacks Zimmerman’s brother, and accuses O’Mara of hypocrisy for neutrally and unemotionally disavowing Zimmerman’s brother’s comments. Thus far, apart from one very brief initial denial of any wrongdoing, de la Rionda has not addressed the real substance of O’Mara’s motions, and has used nearly two and one half pages not to address it. He does not address O’Mara’s second motion that explains his outrageous delaying tactics in obstructing the deposition of Dee Dee at all.
De la Rionda appears to be about to address O’Mara’s real charge, but side steps. He writes:
Initially, the state notes that Defense counsel contends that the supposedly ‘exculpatory’ material was a witness’s statement that she went to a hospital instead of going to the funeral of the Victim, Trayvon Martin, who had been murdered by counsel’s client; in fact, the witness has now admitted that she did not actually go to the hospital. This, of course, is not exculpatory; whether the witness attended the victim’s funeral has nothing to do with defendant being the person who caused the funeral to happen.
Employing the same ethical sense and professional demeanor he has thus far employed, de la Rionda continues:
What becomes clear, then, is that Defense Counsel either does not know what ‘exculpatory’ means, or he is willfully misrepresenting the same to this Court.
The only misrepresentations are on the part of Mr. de la Rionda. What matters is not the fact that Dee Dee did not go to the hospital, but that in making that statement, under oath, she arguably committed perjury. She certainly lied, which the prosecution has admitted, but not here. That, and the fact that she is plainly the prosecution’s star witness, is indeed exculpatory as it goes entirely and directly to her credibility. Without her, the prosecution has virtually nothing. Related is her lie, also under oath, about her age, which has had the effect of keeping her hidden behind a veil of juvenile secrecy, which has had a very direct effect on O’Mara’s ability to efficiently prepare his case. It has substantially delayed and obstructed his work, and thus, the defense of George Zimmerman. This is why prosecutors have an obligation to provide exculpatory discovery. It is these two factors, and de la Rionda’s repeated refusal to tell the truth about these two lies directly impacting the credibility of his most important witness that are without question exculpatory.
De la Rionda cites a case from 1998 that he claims is related to his argument, but he is beating a straw man of his own creation. He spends the next several pages dancing around the real points, admitting that he did inform O’Mara on March 4 “before any hearing on the matter,” “that the witness had not gone to the hospital, ” but again ignoring any mention of Dee Dee’s lie about her age and any reference to his withholding of both of those lies for nearly a year.
Notice too that de la Rionda accuses Zimmerman of “murdering” Martin. He knows better. Zimmerman is innocent of any crime until proved guilty. He certainly shot Martin, but the small matter of murder is why we are going to all the bother of a trial in a court of law rather than in the court of public opinion. In addition, de La Rionda again misrepresents O’Mara, writing:
…counsel appears to be grandstanding in an attempt to repeat as many times as possible what the Court already knows: the witness made an incorrect statement about a matter having nothing to do with Defendant’s culpability. ‘Parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus.
O’Mara is not grandstanding. It is de la Rionda who is carefully avoiding addressing the real substance of the motion. Dee Dee did not make “an incorrect statement;” she lied, repeatedly and on at least two occasions (at least once under oath) about the hospital issue and about her age. It is not these lies that are at issue, but de la Rionda’s knowledge of them and his knowing and unethical refusal, for nearly a year, to divulge information that essentially destroys the credibility of his most important witness. Notice too that he is apparently claiming that he willingly divulged that information “before any hearing on the matter,” conveniently leaving out the fact that he would have been forced to do it in court in less than 24 hours.
De la Rionda also mocks O’Mara for making a charge he did not make with a bit of Latin, which translates as: “Mountains will be in labour, and an absurd mouse will be born.” In more idiomatic English, he is saying that O’Mara did a great deal of work for nothing, but it is de la Rionda who is constructing a mountain to obscure O’Mara’s actual charge.
De la Rionda then spends several pages talking about Zimmerman’s passport–an issue that was disregarded by the previous judge who was removed from the case due to his obvious prejudice toward Zimmerman. He also reminds the court that Shellie Zimmerman was charged with perjury (a charge that has no more validity and substance than that lodged against George Zimmerman, as I outlined in Update 12).
Notice that five pages into his response, de la Rionda has not acknowledged or addressed O’Mara’s real claim and basis for sanctions. Page six is essentially a defense of Dee Dee, a lame assertion that she somehow has something approaching a right never to be identified, and a recitation of Narrative talking points (and the charging affidavit):
* Defendant observed Trayvon Martin (incorrectly profiled him as a criminal)
* Defendant called police
* Defendant followed Trayvon Martin (and continue [sic] to do so after being told not to)
* Defendant confronted Trayvon Martin.
The call was interrupted…….. and she never spoke to the Victim again.
Again, de la Rionda is trying to distract the judge and lead her as far from the substance of the motions as possible. Not only that, he again engages in misrepresentation, in this instance, the facts of the case. Martin was never “profiled,” by anyone. Zimmerman was merely suspicious of his behavior, thus the call to the police. In fact, because he had marijuana in his blood and urine, Martin was in violation of the law (hence, a criminal), but of course, Zimmerman could not have known that, though he correctly suspected it. The evidence, including the tape of Zimmerman’s call, indicates that when the dispatcher asked him not to follow Martin, he replied “OK,” and did just that, despite being under no obligation whatsoever to obey the dispatcher. The evidence also indicates that he was not actually following Martin, but merely trying to keep him in sight for the police he believed would arrive at any minute. In addition, the evidence, including Dee Dee’s testimony, indicates that it was Martin that “confronted” Zimmerman. De la Rionda’s investigator admitted he had no idea who started the “confrontation.” Apparently Mr. de la Rionda knows something his own investigators do not.
Noting that the call was interrupted and Dee Dee never spoke to Martin again can be nothing other than a crude play on the emotions of the judge and those reading the document. Apparently de la Rionda thinks the mega ellipsis somehow enhances the pathos of the statement. Such emotional pandering has no place in a legal document. I’m surprised only that de la Rionda did not repeat that Martin was carrying tea and Skittles, as he did in the charging affidavit.
Not once, in the entire reply to the motion, does de la Rionda address the substance of O’Mara’s motion: his willing and knowing refusal, for nearly a year, to tell the defense of Dee Dee’s multiple acts of perjury. This is truly exculpatory evidence that any ethical prosecutor would have immediately provided the Defense, regardless of the effect on his case. This is the test of prosecutorial ethics and willingness to uphold justice, a test de la Rionda won’t even acknowledge exists, let alone address in any substantive way. I’ll leave it to readers to render his grade on this particularly revealing test.
The seventh, and final, page of de la Rionda’s reply is a masterpiece of sarcastic, hypocritical and juvenile commentary. It also contains perhaps the most egregious misrepresentations in the whole document. De la Rionda, accuses O’Mara have not having the law or facts on his side and of calling de la Rionda and others names, which again, has nothing to do with the substance of the motion.
-he has accused attorneys who represent members of the family of Victim in this case, of a wide variety of misstatements, misconduct, and misbehavior; he has on several occasions referred to them as ‘the handlers’;
-he has accused the Victim’s mother, in the instant Motion of ‘potential influence’ of a witness;
-he has accused at least on judge of being biased and prejudiced;
-he has accused various members of the media, going so far as to sue some.
It is no surprise then that Defense counsel finally got around to targeting the prosecutors as well. No misconduct has occurred, nor should sanctions be awarded to compensate counsel. Indeed, the instant Motion appears to be a product of
[A] walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale. . .
Full of sound and fury,
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), ‘Macbeth’, Act 5 scene 5.
Notice that de la Rionda provides no specifics or context. This is important if he is to avoid dealing with facts.
The attorneys for the family members, the Scheme Team, have indeed made a wide variety of misstatements and behaved badly, inflaming racial tensions, but without specifics and context, one can’t really address this charge.
O’Mara did not accuse Martin’s mother of anything. He merely observed that Dee Dee herself said that having Fulton sitting beside her during her statement changed her testimony. This is surely an “influence” on her statement. De la Rionda should have known better than to put her in the same room with Dee Dee during her interview–the least experienced street cop would know better–but of course, he does not own up to this either.
O’Mara did indeed accuse a judge of being biased and prejudiced–against his client–which is his job. An appeals court, reviewing the evidence, agreed and removed him from the case. Strange that de la Rionda did not mention this.
O’Mara, on behalf of Zimmerman has not sued “some” media, he has sued NBC News which has already admitted slandering Zimmerman with doctored news in obvious support of The Narrative, and has fired several lower ranking employees involved. Strange that de la Rionda did not mention this.
And the quote from Shakespeare is yet another example of de la Rionda’s contempt for the conventions of ethical and effective legal writing. This is not an undergraduate literary criticism course. George Zimmerman is on trial for second degree murder. The particular quote he chose is also best understood as commentary on the ephemeral, transitory nature of man, not a directed insult at the supposed ineffectiveness and insignificance of Mark O’Mara–a man–whose response to de la Rionda’s excursion into evasion, misrepresentation and unwarranted and unprofessional insults was characteristically restrained, appropriate and ethical.
O’Mara’s motions were specific, narrowly tailored and supported with fact and appropriate citation of relevant law. De la Rionda’s response entirely avoided the substance of the motion, erected multiple straw men, misrepresented fact and avoided appropriate and necessary context. It took the tone of a narcissistic and arrogant professor lecturing a class of underclassmen he mistakenly believes to be dull.
Any professional jurist would find de la Rionda’s missive not only unethical and inadequate as a legal document, but would be angered and insulted by it, by the mere fact that any attorney would submit such an unprofessional, juvenile document in a case of the utmost seriousness. Such a jurist would also not look kindly on the prosecutor in charge who allowed one of her subordinates to submit such an unprofessional diatribe.
This document can probably best be understood not as a legal document, but as a political, cultural document. It is red meat for the faithful. It uses the tactics of the far left, such as evasion, erecting and pummeling straw men, accusing opponents of one’s own failings, distraction and misstatement, even lying so boldly and blatantly that the reader is almost tempted to believe it. It is part and parcel of The Narrative, a narrative that is clearly in deep trouble. This is propaganda for the court of public opinion, not a professional filing in a court of law.
This may be why de la Rionda kept Dee Dee’s lies concealed for so long: he had to have known how damaging they were to her credibility, and thus, to The Narrative, which is actually his case.
An undercurrent of desperation underlies de la Rionda’s comments, as well it should. Perhaps he is no longer certain the fix is in. Perhaps he is beginning to fear that yelling “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” is no longer working and that facts and the law just might actually matter in this case. Perhaps he’s beginning to fear that if facts and the law matter, he and his compatriots are in real trouble.
Perhaps it would be best, under the circumstances, to invoke another of Shakespeare’s plays in analyzing Mr. de la Rionda’s reponse: “The Merchant of Venice.” As readers may recall, Shylock–thinking himself very smart indeed– did not, after all, get his pound of flesh.
May justice be equally well served in this case.