Anyone reading this better go into the other room and see if you still have your kitchen sink. If it is missing it has been thrown into the indictment against Brian Joyce the former senator from Milton, MA. He was hit with a 102 page indictment. One paper suggested if you were interested you could read the indictment and provided the site. I decided I’d start reading War and Peace by Tolstoy and be finished sooner.
102 page indictment? I don’t remember but do they read the indictments to the jury in federal cases? Imagine sitting in court while someone reads that to you?
My gut on hearing how long the indictment is that the feds have very little against Joyce. Perhaps that part in the indictment about the time he got a shoe shine at South Station and ran off without paying when the shoe shine boy turned his back (which I did not know was a federal crime but because it involved interstate commerce it became one ) made me think that their case was weak. Well, truth be told, there was no shoe shine charge. I imagine thought that some of the charges are quite close to it since that’s a ton of charges to drop on a guy without having scraped the bottom of the barrel or the soul of the shoe.
Imagine a juror deliberating on the case and the foreperson is saying “now that we’ve discussed count 76 let’s go on to count 77.” I have to think the reaction of any person still awake would have to be, “come on, let’s just find him responsible for every fifth count and get out of here.” Piling 112 counts up against a guy in a 102 page indictment doesn’t give the guy a fighting chance. It gives him no chance.
When I prosecuted I liked things to be clean. If a guy robbed a bank and then a car chase ensued I’d just charge the robbery and nothing related to the subsequent chase. If I lost the robbery so be it. I’d not be consoled if I lost the robbery and convicted him of driving recklessly and speeding.
Why would you want to pile on charges like that against a guy. If he did something worthy of indictment charge him with it but burying him with 112 counts and hoping one or two stick suggests to me the case is not that strong. And looking at the faces of the five men making the announcement of it, shown above, fortifies that feeling.
I wrote about Brian Joyce a while back. He was one of those Boston Globe targeted guys. We haven’t been seeing much of them lately. Your remember the Globe would write a Spotlight Series about some person, then editorialize about it, then have stories based on the editorial and Spotlight, and then tell the U.S. Attorney to indict the guy which she would.
Much of the new about Joyce happened before April 2016. That it took so long to charge him also points to weakness. I originally thought the delay was because Joyce had gone over to the feds and was cooperating. Then with the change of leadership in the US Attorney’s office I thought Joyce was off the hook. After all, right from the start his attorney said he was cooperating. That’s not what you usually advise your client to do.
Suddenly Friday morning Joyce was woken early and arrested. Taken to Worcester federal court he pleaded not guilty. His attorney, I’m not sure if it was the one who told him to cooperate, said: “You just heard Senator Joyce, former Senator Joyce, in a very loud and firm voice in court that he’s innocent of all of these charges. And he is and he expects that’s what’s will happen in court. I should just add that in the last few years, it’s been apparent across the country that the federal government has brought a number of cases against public officials, which have either gone nowhere, or have been rejected by juries, or highly criticized by courts. That’s all we have to say today,”
Joyce stood behind his attorney and did not look well. Can’t blame him. Even if he can beat the rap the odds with so many counts make it unlikely. Further, to try such a case would take many weeks and who can afford that type of money to have an attorney prepare and try cases that run that long.
Looks like Joyce will have to make a deal. Sadly, we will never know if he really committed any crimes. All we’ll know is you shouldn’t stiff a shoe shine boy.