Scruggs Nation, Day 28

Balducci “did it on his own,” Keker says. “Now he’s trying to spread the pain around.”

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. This seems remarkably weak as a defense. I keep waiting to see what else Keker has got in his magic act, and he keeps going back to the same dumb trick where he pulls a coin out of your ear. If this is the best he has, I wonder if a plea agreement might be in the offing before the trial date. We will have to wait and see what the evidence against Scruggs is, but in addition to Balducci’s testimony, it probably includes audio recordings of conversations with Balducci, particularly related to the “extra $10,000,” and payments to Balducci that are going to be extraordinarily difficult to explain as payments for jury instructions and jury consulting, their supposed purpose. In addition, the FBI “taint” team is continuing to look at the hard drives of the Scruggs law firm, and they may reveal even more.

A corollary to this defense is that Balducci supposedly is the ne’er-do-well son trying to impress daddy by fixing, without his knowledge, some problem that has perplexed ol’ pops. I’m sure you’ve seen this plot in a couple hundred movies and sitcoms — Dad’s Buick has some tricky fuel injectors and Junior borrows his wrench set, sneaks out to the garage in the middle of the night and gets busy under the hood — won’t the old man be surprised in the morning when his car fires right up! Maybe he’ll be so pleased he will front the money for that spring break trip to Cancun. It always ends the same, Dad walks out to the driveway in the morning and finds his entire engine scattered in pieces all over the concrete, and Junior fast asleep in the back seat. As a storyline, it probably works better in Leave it to Beaver than the Scruggs case.

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