NEWS FROM THE FRONT
February 2, 2008
GOOD NEWS BULLETIN
LARRY BECRAFT BLOCKS ANOTHER DOJ PERSECUTION
JURY HUNG AFTER BENNETT TRIAL
GOVERNMENT LEAVES WITHOUT A HEAD ON ITS LANCE
HONOLULU, HI—The news came through right on the heels of the Snipes verdict and did not garner the attention that partial conviction received, but it’s all good news from Hawaii. Lucky Bennett, accused of conspiracy and tax evasion walked out of the courtroom after a trial that was on and off since it started on January 8, 2008, leaving as innocent has he had entered. Unlike the Snipes case, Bennett took the stand and explained how he came to discover that the income tax had no application to him and Larry Becraft delivered a brilliant closing, pointing out that the only evidence of Bennett’s belief at the time of the “crime” was Bennett’s testimony.
Larry argued to the jury that the government has the burden to prove Bennett’s belief and intentions as of April 15 of each year for which he was charged, that proof required evidence. Holding his hands out like a scale he demonstrated that the government must shift the scale all the way over, not just tip it—beyond any reasonable doubt. He pointed out that Lucky gave his sworn testimony as to what he believed as of those April 15’s—the scales move to his side. But what evidence has the government shown you about Lucky’s beliefs or intent on those dates? Still holding his “scales” out, “Did you see it move? I didn’t see it move.”
Obviously, some of the jury understood that. From one who has been in this system for nearly four decades it is almost impossible to convince a jury that firmly believes the earth is flat that anyone who says otherwise truly believes that it is round. A hung jury is a monumental achievement. It is a loss by the government, who walks away empty handed, no head to display on its lance.
Whether the government will take a second shot at Bennett remains to be seen, but although they could not tip the scales they have tipped their hands, and that means Lucky Bennett knows what they have up their sleeves and will be even better prepared and able to mount his defense.
Well done, Lucky! Well done, Larry!