09 July 2007

The long Padilla trial

The trial of Jose Padilla, highlighted today in the New York Times, which provides more context than most coverage, has been going on a long time, nine weeks so far, with the prosecution still trying to make its case and weeks to go.

While many high profile trials do last a long time, this is not typical. Two-thirds of federal criminal jury trials in Colorado last three days or less. Only about two out of 37 federal criminal jury trials in Colorado, in the most recent year for which numbers are available, last over four weeks. Nationwide, only 2% of federal criminal jury trials last more than four weeks.

This doesn't mean that Padilla can expect an acquittal, but it does indicate just how tenuous the government's case is here. The more you have to say to prove your case, the less likely it is that it is a solid one.

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