Rezko trial: Attack on chief witness begins

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Looking like a caged animal dying to come out for an attack, defense lawyer Joseph Duffy launched question after question at Stuart Levine, setting traps for him along the way. Levine got caught up in those traps pretty quickly.
Levine had to be expecting such an attack. But he appeared shaken, shifting in his seat more often, taking deer-in-the-headlights pauses before answering.
The first few questions went like this:
"You’ve been involved in criminal activity your entire adult life, isn't that correct?"
"No sir," Levine said.
"Tell us what part of your adult life you were not involved in criminal activity," Duffy pressed.
"In no part of my adult life was I not involved in criminal activity,"
"Sir, wasn't that the question I just asked?" Duffy raised his voice, sounding incredulous.
"Yes, sir," Levine repeated.
"You were involved in criminal activity your entire life. You want to change your answer?"
"No sir...Would you explain to me Mr. Duffy, adult life?"

Levine then said he was involved in criminal activity his entire professional life. But oops. Levine forgot that drug use is considered a criminal act.

"Do you consider taking illegal drugs illegal activity?"
"Yes," Levine said.
"Do you want to change your answer for the jury?"
"Yes," Levine relented, but kept his voice steady.
“Thank you.”

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Natasha Korecki

Natasha Korecki is the Federal Courts Reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, covering federal news, corruption investigations and trials.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on April 3, 2008 10:57 AM.

Explosive cross examination begins was the previous entry in this blog.

Levine: A bagman is a homeless person? is the next entry in this blog.

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