There is a joke about an Irish lawyer defending a guy charged with having what those of us on the Christian Right (and pretty much all of us who aren't) would call unnatural relations with a sheep. I can't repeat it here, but the upshot is that the lawyer - who is inarticulate and does not know the law -has this knack for picking a jury.
I think Michael McGee, Jr. needs that guy.
McGee has been denied bail in large part because he has allegedly been trying to tamper with witnesses while he was in custody. Although your first reaction to this is that he must be one of the dumbest pols in the long history of municipal corruption, I'm not sure.
He apparently knew that he wasn't supposed to be doing this and he also seems to have known that his phone calls (except to his lawyer) were hardly private.
I wonder if he hasn't decided that his only hope is jury nullification. Given what is likely to be his plain and widespread guilt, that may be quite rational. He needs to pick the right jury and race bait.
If that's the strategy, his continued incarceration is a plus. He needn't be out to help his lawyers plan his defense if he really doesn't have one. It's far more useful to be seen as a racial martyr - a perception that he can count on some commentators to facilitate.
Of course, I don't think that he tried to get bail denied. Sitting in jail is nobody's idea of a good time. It just may be that he isn't going to care as much about the normal concerns of defendants because he is, after all, a McGee and, in any event, this is a defense that is going to be waged on a different set of issues than we are used to. At least until the end, OJ played the race card subtly. I don't know that finesse is something that Team McGee will be able to afford.
My early prediction is that it won't work - at least not completely. Juries are only human and it is possible for lawyers to use their prejudices and to play upon concerns that may not really be relevant to the issues at bar.
But few jurors are willing to completely ignore the judge's instructions. You have to give them a hook upon which to hang whatever sentiments you are playing to. In this case, your first thought is entrapment but it seems like they may have him so many ways that the story line will just get too complicated. The challenge for the prosecutors is avoid turning that into a plus for the defense and to resist the temptation to overtry the case.