This morning, The Wall Street Journal recaps the Dallas City Hall federal corruption trial for outsiders and others not glued to Schutze's riveting running narration from the Earle Cabell, where Bill Fisher takes the stand yet again this morning. Since most of it's more than familiar territory to the Friends of Unfair Park, let's just skip to the end, where defense attorney Billy Ravkind and SMU politics prof Cal Jillson offer their two cents' worth. One note of background first: Ravkind was Al Lipscomb's attorney when the former city councilman -- and corruption-trial pundit -- stood trial in Amarillo in 2000. Schutze was there then too. So, then, what say they?
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Dallas lawyer Billy Ravkind, who has a private practice specializing in fraud and embezzlement cases, said he expects jurors to be receptive to the defense's claims of racism. Mr. Ravkind has known many of the defendants for years but isn't representing any of them. When jurors "look over and don't see anyone white" in the defense box, he said, "that's a problem."
Calvin Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, said he hoped the case wouldn't taint what he sees as council members' vital role of lobbying for minority constituents to get a shot at construction contracts.