Court To Stone Jury: Whatever You Do, Don’t Think About The Godfather . . . The Godfather . . . Don’t Think About The Godfather

Well, at least that is what the instruction sounded like to me from U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson who told the jury not to watch or rent or download the movie The Godfather. It reminded me of that old cartoon showing a jury in cataclysmic shock with the judge saying “the jury will disregard the witness’s last remark.” The instruction seemed to highlight the movie and its connection to longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone.

Jackson has an excellent reputation and had extensive experience before taking the bench. She also made the correct ruling in barring the Justice Department from playing the movie because Stone makes reference to it in conversations with potential witnesses. It was a ridiculous and potentially abusive move by the prosecutors. Stone allegedly told radio host and comedian Randy Credico not to cooperate with investigators, urging him to “do a Frank Pentangeli.” In “The Godfather: Part II”, Pentangeli kills himself after being pressured to lie to a congressional committee.

The cure may be worse than the ailment. Jackson told the jury “Don’t download ‘The Godfather’ on Netflix.” It could not highlight the connection more. The fact is that this was an analogy by Stone and a fairly common one. That is why it was absurd for the prosecutors to seek to play the movie. However, by barring the jury from even viewing the movie makes it sound that the film is closely linked to Stone, 67.

The strangest aspect is that Stone’s lawyer, Bruce Rogow, already addressed the reference and dismissed it. Yet, suddenly it is something for the jurors to think about — that film that shall not be watched. For the defense, it must be something like Michael Corleone’s feeling in Godfather III: “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!”

Credico is expected to continue testifying Friday. Other witnesses set to be called in the case are former Trump campaign chief Steve Bannon and former campaign deputy Rick Gates, who prosecutors say each had numerous conversations with Stone.

32 thoughts on “Court To Stone Jury: Whatever You Do, Don’t Think About The Godfather . . . The Godfather . . . Don’t Think About The Godfather”

    1. a great scene except it reminds me of the first and only time i had a witness recant a sworn statement and thus send one of my cases into the crappr. we settled that one alright.

  1. So, Turley, what is a judge to do when a jury hears that a criminal defendant has tried to silence or entice a witness to lie by making a reference to a popular gangster film? The context is: Frankie “Five Angels” was intimidated into lying to Congress, despite a sworn affidavit that he signed after Corleone tried to kill him by having him strangled. A cop walked into the bar while the attempted strangulation was going down but it didn’t get completed and Frankie survived. Corleone shows up at the Congressional hearing with Frankie’s brother who lives in Italy. The implication was that they’d kill him, so Frankie lied said he just made up the things he swore to in his affidavit. Then, Corleone’s attorney, played by Robert Duvall, visits Frankie in prison and they discussed the fact that ancient Romans used to commit suicide after turning against the powers that be, but only after being assured that their family would be cared for. Frankie gets the message, so he opens up a vein while in a hot bath and bleeds to death. This is the context of Stone’s comment to the witness–clearly he was trying to intimidate him into lying. So, what is the judge supposed to do? The judge doesn’t manufacture the facts–she is forced to deal with them and make the right call to ensure a fair trial. She did the only sensible thing by ordering the jury not to view the film. She made a wise decision.

    1. Again, another antidote to this horrid ranting individual.

      ==

      Handsome voice, and she knew how to sell cars!

    2. um did you ever hear the words “evidentiary harpoon” or “you can’t unring a bell?”

      most of us did at least for the bar exam, even if we forgot the terms from evidence

      same idea

      maybe reversible error, we shall see

    3. Michael Corleone didn’t attempt to have frank strangled. The Rosato brothers, encouraged by Hyman Roth, attempted to kill frank in an effort to divide the Corleone family. Frank’s brother was brought in to silently remind frank of his duty under Omertà. His brother was not at risk of being killed. If you recall frank denied the existence of the mafia claiming that he and Vito were merely in the olive oil business together. Maybe the judge should make the jury watch The Godfather II, not the “ The Godfather “ to get the story straight. If the order is not to watch The Godfather would there be a violation of the order if they watched The Godfather II?

  2. Jackson has an excellent reputation and had extensive experience before taking the bench.

    Remind me again what Turley’s early opinion was of Michael Avenatti?

    If you want to know the root of the Democrats anger and fear over Trump’s presidency and reelection, just consider his impact on the courts. Without reliable, activist judges, their abusive, progressive agenda will be DIW.

    Thank you President Trump!

  3. Godfather sayings are figures of speech. It’s ubiquitous, part of the colloquialisms. Go to the mattresses.

    Are they saying that they think he was being literal?

    What happened to the stallion sucked.

  4. The best way to get a child to think about doing something is to tell them not to do that something. It is simple psychology. In order to process a “don’t” command the affirmative must be visualized/considered.

    Don’t think about a red chicken or a blue dog.

    1. ghsteele, on a relayed note, there’s a story about Jack Benny and George Burns.
      Jennette McDonald would host numerous parties, and someone would always feel obligated to ask her to sing; and maybe Ms. McDonald would “plant” someone to “request” that she sing.
      One time George Burns made a point of repeatedly telling Jack Benny not to laugh when the next time the inevitable request came up. Burns kept “priming” Benny with the advice not to laugh at the next upcoming McDonald party.
      Benny thought to himself he’d never do that, but when the time came for the request for a McDonald song, what Burns had kept saying prompted him to bust out laughing when she was asked to sing; Burns suspected that telling Benny not to laugh would result in making him laugh.

      1. Ohhhhh, The Shining freaked me out. Those were when movies were more thriller than gore or vivisection. What was most disturbing was that the father was supposed to be the one willing to die to protect his family, but he was the one trying to kill them. Horrifying.

    1. process crimes, nothing more.

      https://www.lawfareblog.com/document-indictment-roger-stone

      while today Sammy the Bull Gravano, murderer of at least 19 people, who admitted to fixing a trial for Gotti, is free

      while today Robert Cooley, the only lawyer to have fixed a murder trial ever so proven in an American court of law, walks free.

      Both, were “cooperating witnesses” with the FBI

      but Stone is charged with witness tampering, obstruction, etc., for a bunch of vague remarks

      1. Not seeing how they can charge Stone with ‘witness tampering’ in regard to a conversation which took place six months before Stone was indicted

  5. Liberal activist judges who so often ignore the will of the electorate are the bane of society. And of course that goes doubly for the Democrat party which has made it their mission to appoint such judges. Democrats are the most illiberal people in America and they show it by not only their words but their actions.

    1. Rober Stone grew up in an Italian- Hungarian household.. The reference to the Godfather by the judge may reveal an ethnic slander against his Italian ancestry. Reversible error. If he was black and they told the jurors not to watch “Shaft” or “Superfly” or “New Jack City” there would be an outrage.

      from wiki:

      Stone was born on August 27, 1952,[13] in Norwalk, Connecticut,[34] to Gloria Rose (Corbo) and Roger J. Stone.[35] He grew up in Lewisboro, New York, in a family of Hungarian and Italian descent. His mother was a small-town reporter, his father a well driller[36] and business owner. He has described his family as middle-class, blue-collar Catholics.[34]

      Stone said that as an elementary school student in 1960, he broke into politics to further John F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign: “I remember going through the cafeteria line and telling every kid that Nixon was in favor of school on Saturdays … It was my first political trick.”[36]

  6. So, It appears only Trump supporters are charged for imaginary crimes & the Bush/Clinton/Obama people commit real crimes & to date remain Uncharged!!!

    Car 54, I mean AG Bob Barr where the hell are you, it’s only been 4 Years of illegally going after Trump & his supporters/including Violence against us.

    1. It drives me up the wall that repeatedly, Democrats are guilty of what they accuse Republicans of doing…and nothing happens to them.

  7. The Stone trial is starting to become a textbook example of poor judging.

    To the suspicious, what is happening to Stone seems to confirm suspicions about judicial integrity.

    1. The Stone trial looks to me another text book example of another Idiot hiring high dollar Idiots for lawyers!

      I thought at 1st Stone was smarter then this, apparently not.

      IE: Why is their still an unconstitutional Gag Order against Stone?

      Does Stone no longer enjoy his 1st amendment right of Free Speech because of an Obama Judge.

      BTW: Be careful looking up words like the C word in the dictionary as some have pictures.

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