Which strategy for the Lawyers of DSK?

Ian Weinstein in AllVoices, May 29, 2011

Media Source

By Abdel Fattah Hussein

How will he defend himself? Dominique Strauss-KahnDominique Strauss-Kahn, accused of sex crimes against a hotel employee in New York, according to several experts would choose to face a jury rather than plead guilty, relying on a limited sentence or an acquittal.

The American legal system organizes the criminal trial into two phases. During the first, the guilt must be established by the prosecution and 12 jurors unanimously declare whether, in their personal conviction, the accused is guilty or not. If a guilty verdict is rendered, the court then considers the conviction.

And if there was an agreement with the prosecution?

Very often, however, that an accused shall, at any time during the proceedings, to plead guilty. This means he spends a deal with prosecutors to obtain a reduced sentence.

DSK's lawyers have they chosen the right strategy?

"They should ensure silence and this was not the case, Alan Dershowitz for analysis LEXPRESS.fr. They have done worse, even, developing arguments to defend their client that seemed contradictory."

"I'd be very surprised" he pleads guilty, says Holly Maguigan, a professor at New York University. She says the arrangement that the prosecution could offer "necessarily include the prison." "We can understand from his point of view to him that, even if it can save him five to ten years in prison, plead guilty would mean abandoning what is so important to him, it's not worth the sentence, "she says. "It's hard to imagine an agreement that may be sufficient benefit to giving up the prospect of an acquittal is worth the shot," says Ian Weinstein, a law professor at Fordham University.

In the same vein, according to these experts, it is impossible under the law of New York that the case be settled by financial negotiation with the alleged victim.

And if the maid retracted?

If Dominique Strauss-Kahn or someone in his name managed to convince the latter to withdraw, the attorney Cyrus Vance New York could still continue the trial.

"She testified under oath," said Ellen Yaroshefsky, a professor at Yeshiva University. But nuance does, if it does not come to trial, "what a jury may draw such conclusion is another question." And, said Ian Weinstein, "in a case that was so covered, it will be difficult for her not to cooperate" with prosecutors.

All indications are, therefore, that if the tests confirm that there was sexual intercourse, the girl will eventually give the bar's version of events in a trial that could take place by about a year, according to experts.

And if the evidence of an assault are not obvious?

If there are no traces of violence, will speak against this word, cons lawyer attorney, "the jury is sole judge." "Usually in cases like this, the man said that the woman was consensual and she said he raped her," says Yaroshefsky.

In the event that DSK would be found guilty, the question arises finally setting his sentence. All experts interviewed New York courts ensure that they do not practice penalties cumulative observed in other states.

The seven charges brought against DSK by the U.S. justice - including first-degree sexual offense, attempted first degree rape, sexual assault and first degree - make it theoretically punishable by imprisonment of up to 74 years and three months in total.

"His age, the fact that he has no criminal record, he rendered many services to the international community, and there were no serious injuries are as many reasons why a sentence of 15 years would be particularly severe, "said Ian Weinstein. However, he said, "I can not imagine that a judge does not have at least five years."