May 28, 2015

Trial In Mayberry

For famed criminal attorney Jack McMahon, who travels the country "looking forward" to tough murder cases, this must seem like a week in Mayberry. Called Fire and Brimstone by fellow attorneys in Philadelphia, discrediting a couple of Lehigh County detectives, to acquit his client, is child's play for him. This is the same attorney who only a few years ago got Kermit Gosnell, the abortion doctor in Philadelphia, acquitted of most charges. As is his style, he has successfully defended the police chief's son with the media, outside the courtroom. Yesterdays Morning Call headline called the defendant "a good kid." Aren't we glad that Pawlowski hired a national search consultant to bring this chief and his family to Allentown?

ADDENDUM: According to Morning Call reports, Judge Banach had to reprimand the chief for having uniformed officers come into the court room to shake his hand.  Cheesy lawyer orchestrated theatrics, by the self serving chief.


Anonymous said...

I think we need to focus on the facts of THIS case, and not the attorney, father or anything else.

From the article:

"One witness, Whitehall police officer Raymond Seiling, told the jury that he recalled Fitzgerald being so combative that a detective had to push him to the ground so Seiling could handcuff him.

But the video showed Fitzgerald lying down on his own, before any officers approached him."

With police testimony like that, and assuming the article has it right (never a given with the Call), you really can't blame the attorney for making this seem like a week in Mayberry.

michael molovinsky said...

@7:19, i don't think that you will get "facts", but carefully crafted contradictions discovered by McMahon preparing for the case, that's his MO, and why he's such a good defense attorney. conviction requires an unanimous decision, which the prosecution won't get with such a masterful defense attorney. fortunately, the chief's wayward son didn't shoot anyone or get shot, this time.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was a tradition at A.P.D.that no uniformed officers could be roaming about the courtroom during a jury trial.Guess its the new age.

Anonymous said...

There is no metion of the DA or an assistant that is trying this case¿ Who has been assigned to act in the circus in the county seat of Mayberry, Barney Fif¿

After winning the case will it be goiing on to sue the county for racial profiling in federal court as a family issue¿

patent pending

Anonymous said...

I don't think that a video directly refuting the testimony of a police officer is a "carefully crafted contradiction".

In fact, I find it extremely troubling that the officer (who has presumably been in stressful situations before) could be so far off in his version of the story. I think many people (myself included) would typically assume that the police version is the correct one. It doesn't appear to be the case here, however.

Was it an honest mistake in recollection, or something worse? That we likely won't find out. Thank God that there was a video, that could be used to get to the truth on that point.

As far as other facts coming out, I believe the article mentioned that the detectives testified that they HAD to take action because the Chief's son was driving erratically.

I would LOVE to see the policy that puts a traffic stop above a drug bust for members of the DRUG TASK FORCE. The Morning Call hasn't apparently seen fit to ask the DA's office for a copy of that policy yet. On the surface, that seems like an incredibly poor policy, if it exists. Maybe it will be brought out in court.

In any event, I think it would be good for everyone to let the process work, and see what the jury decides.

While I certainly didn't like Pawlowski embarking on an unnecessary nationwide search for a Chief, or his rubber-stamp City Council for allowing it, I can't really fault the Chief for taking the job. I certainly want to see the son penalized in any way for it.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I have a completely different take on this matter than you portray. First, it is not this young man's fault that Pawlowski hired his father to be Allentown's police chief. Second, McMahaon is a good trial lawyer, one of the best. Last time I checked, we have a constitutional right to effective representation. Third, Lehigh County Judge Kelly Banach has been nothing short of a disgrace, is married to a retired cop from Allentown, and I question whether she should even be hearing this matter. She put on a crying jag when McMahon was tied up in another trial, and was ready to hold him in contempt for doing his job. She has been unfair from the onset. Fourth, Fitzgerald is the son of police officers and wants to make law enforcement his career. I see nothing wrong wigth so informing the jury and making clear at the onset that this is no street thug but is a man who was worried about his son and the woman he loves. Finally, this is nothing more than a case of overblown testosterone, which seems to be a problem shared by most cops and cop wannabes. They all acted like knuckleheads, but I so no criminality on the part of anyone. .

michael molovinsky said...

bernie@10:50, you don't want to make it the "young man's" fault that his father is pawlowski's police chief, but you want to make the judge "guilty" because she is married to a retired cop. i agree that when you point a gun (or "display it" in defense lawyer talk) at cops, you need a good lawyer. we really don't know what the "young man" wants to do. i suspect that his father's influence got him the job at the prison in allentown. overblown testosterone is no excuse on pulling a gun on the drivers of the car behind you. despite the high profile lawyer and father's job, he should face the consequences of that aggression. btw, maybe the baby daddy should get married.