Veteran court watchers give their takes on Kilpatrick trial

Veteran court watchers give their takes on Kilpatrick trial

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Roy Nowitzke and Ed Franks  (Credit: Fox 2 News) Roy Nowitzke and Ed Franks (Credit: Fox 2 News)

Ed Franks and Roy Nowitzke are veteran court watchers.  For the past four years, they've been keeping a very close eyes on things in federal court.  For the past six months, they've had front row seats at the Kilpatrick incorporated trial, a case that has to rate as the trial of the millennium, at least so far.

They don't always agree on what they see.  Franks' son is a federal prosecutor, so he tends to favor the government.  Nowitzke spent some time in Milan on a counterfeiting charge, so he is a bit more skeptical.  However, when it comes to this case, they agree.

"I've never seen a trial with so much direct evidence," said Franks.  "[We] agree that what we saw the government produce before our own [eyes], they committed the crime."

Franks sees convictions on all counts.  Nowitzke sees guilt, but also a human factor.

"[There are] eight women, four men," he said.  "Women, I think, have a little more sympathy than men."

Here's where the grain of salt comes into this story.  Two men, one case, but two different takes on how the jury will see it.

When it comes to sympathy, Franks said, "I think that... could fall on the government's side knowing that you've taken some money from some poor kid and taking some money from senior citizens."

And while Nowitzke said star witnesses Derrick Miller and Emma Bell may not have been so effective because they had their own legal problems, Franks said their flaws only bolster their credibility as Kilpatrick insiders.

"I think maybe it was one of the qualifications to be an employee with Kwame Kilpatrick to be untrustworthy," he said.

Neither courthouse veteran said they're surprised the jury is still deliberating.

"I think it's a hard call to make to say that I'm going to find you guilty on all these counts and I know you can be away from your family ten to 15 years," said Franks. 

"According to the other high profile cases like in Chicago, we're kind of on track, I think," said Nowitzke.

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