It’s one thing to speak from afar, relying on the reporting of others. It’s another to be there, to experience it for oneself. That’s why this comment by Randy, a juror in Dentrell Deaner’s murder case, is so significant. (H/T to @hotspringsatty for pointing it out). I have confirmed with Randy, who prefers to keep his surname out of the internet whirlwind, that he was, indeed, a juror on the case. (H/T Jamison Koehler for putting me in touch with Randy).
Here’s what he had to say.
Right now, I am looking at a letter adressed to me from Judge William M. Jackson, thanking me for my jury service on the Deaner trial….and I feel obliged to set the record straight as just that “indsider”. Additionally, I’d like to thank the judge for his extreme tolerance of Mr Rakofsky’s antics…..to those of us on the jury, we were stupified and, having sat on many trials in the past myself, Judge Jackson gave Mr Rakofsky as much “leash” as was professionally possible. It’s Mr Rakofsky’s own fault, and frankly narcissism, that allowed him to “hang” himself with that leash and draw a mistrial.
It was obvious from the opening statements that Mr Rakofsky was way out of his league and poorly trained for a proper court defense. Whatever momentary empathy any of us on the jury may have felt for Mr Rakofsky’s absolute ineptitude, were quickly absolved by our knowledge that a young man’s entire life was at stake. The absolute amateurish antics displayed by Mr Rakofsky were repulsive and oddly narcissistic. He had very little command of the law, and now hearing that Mr Deaner’s family actually hired him is truly upsetting. Most of us assumed that this was a court ordered public defender that may just have been too young and overwhelmed by a huge docket of cases to put together a proper defence.
Additionally, the quotes above from Rakofsky [as well as the Facebook entries] make my stomach absolutely turn. His poor performace was much much more than a lack of training and time….he truly had no grasp for how to handle a proper criminal court trial and it was obvious to EVERYONE in the court that he had trouble even putting a proper thought together, often repeating and repeating himself over and over to the audible gasps from the jury. Now, hearing his responses on facebook, I am truly repulsed that this “attorney” could defend his own actions while he wasted the time of the court, those of us on the jury, the money of DC taxpayers and most importatly jeopardized the life of the person he was defending. It’s an absolute travesty and mockery of the fragile system that protects ALL of our rights.
The funny thing is that deeper digging is a by-product of Rakofsky’s decision to take a bad situation and make it stupendously worse. From afar, he looked horrible. He looked even worse close-up. And Randy, the juror, saw him as close-up at it comes. Randy has more to say, but is awaiting the court’s approval (he just wants to be sure) before doing so.
My bit of fatherly advice: If you don’t want to become the poster boy for legal incompetence and deception, don’t be incompetent or deceptive. Commencing a ridiculous lawsuit is never a good answer.