In my book Don’t Embarrass The Family I wrote how during John Martorano’s testimony in Boston “I felt physically uncomfortable hearing” him joke on the witness stand. I also wrote: “I found myself repulsed by this degenerate man talking in such a cavalier manner. . . . It was strange listening to this multi-murderer trying to be a comedian and hearing some laugh at him.” It would get worse at the trial in Florida.
Yesterday I wrote how the federal prosecutor Fred Wyshak suggested former FBI Agent John Connolly’s troubles were occasioned by his loyalty to South Boston. I felt this showed a great lack of depth on his part accepting as true the caricature of people from South Boston. It underscores his inability to separate Billy Bulger from the crimes of his brother. He has no difficulty smearing a whole neighborhood of hard-working loyal Americans with the same brush. I’d like to know what is it about South Boston values that Wyshak finds are so offensive.
As bad as it is to hold a group of people from a neighborhood up to ridicule, he showed a worse side of him during the Miami trial. Don’t take my word for any of this, you can watch NBC’s presentation of it yourself here.
The NBC program contains just quick clips so one can only catch a small feel of the trial. In one Wyshak (part 7, about the 5:30 mark) is conducting the direct examination of Stevie Flemmi. Keep in mind this is a serious case. FBI Agent John Connolly is on trial for murder.
Wyshak is asking Flemmi about the murder of Brian Halloran. He starts smiling as he begins to ask Flemmi what Whitey said about Halloran. You can sense there’s some sort of Abbot/Costello routine about to begin. Flemmi answered he said the Balloon burst. With a broad grin on his face as if he’s trying to hold in a big joke, Wyshak uses a leading question to ask Flemmi why Whitey called Halloran Balloon saying “that’s because he had a large head.” And Flemmi returns a big grin agreeing that Halloran had a big head. The two men enjoyed the joke together.
None of this was necessary. It demeans the idea of justice just seeing this. Wyshak’s acting like a Flemmi crony enjoying a good inside joke. Flemmi is a sadistic murderer. Perhaps the most evil man in Boston history. It seems Wyshak has forgotten that.
The video also showed John Martorano acting as a comedian on the stand with his fresh wise guy answers that provoked laughter in the courtroom. I’m surprised counsel doesn’t jump all over him for this. Here’s a guy who has admitted murdering twenty people and he’s pretending he’s a stand-up comic.
Any lawyer with basic trial instincts should be in his face with, “Mr. Martorano, do find something humorous in having murdered twenty people? Is it all some big lark for you to be here testifying in front of this jury? Tell the jury what you think is so funny!”
I just hope C&B know how to slam him. Counsel for Connolly in Florida didn’t know how to do it. You’ve got to attack them, get them mad and show the jury what they are made of. You must show how they will lie, cheat and murder to help themselves. You have to impress on the jury this case is the most serious one they’ll ever hear involving murder and it’s no time for humor especially if it’s from people who have savagely taken the lives of others.
Flemmi has to be taken through the murders of those young women he admitted murdering in excruciating detail. Make him into the monster he is with a second by second account. Point out to the jury his smiling at these happenings. Connolly’s Florida lawyer failed miserably in this.
When a prosecutor jokes around with a man who murdered two young women, let the jury know it’s happening. When a murderer like Martorano wants to act the clown point it out for all to see.
The courtroom isn’t a place to play patty cake patty cake. It’s a battle field and should be treated as such. Lawyers that don’t understand that shouldn’t be in the pit when gangsters are involved. There’s nothing funny about a murder trial.