During his opening statement, George Farkas, Nechemya Weberman’s lawyer, announced that the defendant would testify on his own behalf.
A reader of this blog wondered about this and wrote,
Why do they want to put him on the stand? If he is really guilty, then how is he going to lie, lie, lie and do it plausibly? The DA can also cross examine. How is he going to explain his methods of therapy? Isn’t it going to be worse for him on the stand than not? Is this really the best alternative for him? Again, unless he is innocent, how is this guy who cannot possibly have any idea about the mindset of normal people outside the community, how is he and his lawyers planning on being convincing to the point of planting reasonable doubt? Can’t figure it out.
I agree that he is foolish to go on the stand. But many psychopathic serial molesters are arrogant and manipulative. After all he has been getting away with this for decades. He figures he can pull another fast one. I am convinced that he has miscalculated.
I am also convinced that he overrode his legal advice and they are squirming about the strategy they are now trying to implement. I suspect the real dynamite in the case will come on his cross-examination. His going on the stand is going to open him up to cross examination. His x may be even more brutal that the one his lawyer dished out to the victim.
It precisely because of the hazards of cross examination that most lawyers persuade defendants not to go on the stand. There is the old saying that a person who serves as his own lawyer has a fool for a lawyer. In this case he hired very competent lawyers but probably ended up in effect being his own lawyer.
I suspect that early on his lawyer advised him to take a plea bargain. I am guessing he could have gotten a 5 year sentence and been out in less than that. At one level I wish he had done that and had spared the victim and other victims the anguish. However, I believe the results of the trial will help educate the community about this terrible problem and will make it easier to stop others like him. So in the end he may have done us all a favor by persisting in his arrogance.