Dickerson: 'Be Extremely Cautious About Second-Guessing' Kwame Verdict

Legal judgments and moral ones don't always overlap, Freep columnist Brian Dickerson notes in regards to Detroit's highest-profile jury deliberations, which resumed Monday morning at U.S. District Court in Detroit.

"Many of us will feel angry and betrayed if the jury's conclusion is different from our own," the editorial writer says in a column about the Kwame Kilpatrick corruption case that's part brace-yourself and part criminal justice primer.

Most of us long ago reached conclusions about Kilpatrick's character. . . . Jurors have likely reached similar conclusions of their own. But they are irrelevant to the jury's collective task, which is to answer a much narrower question: Have prosecutors proved, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendants broke a series of specific laws? . . .

All of us should be extremely cautious about second-guessing the jury's judgment.

Dickerson also sees positive results regardless of whether the ex-mayor, his father Bernard and favored contractor Bobby Ferguson are found guilty.

Whatever the jury's verdict, the marathon trial has provided a profoundly teachable moment -- an unforgettable glimpse at the lawlessness into which the city's ruling class had fallen during the Kilpatrick years. . . .

Whether Kilpatrick and his cronies spend their adult lives in federal custody is ultimately less important than whether his successors root out the culture they cultivated during Detroit's lost decade.

Read more:  Detroit Free Press

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