06 June 2008

R. Kelly trial

Rapper R. Kelly is on trial in a courtroom in Chicago, in connection with a tape that seems to show him having sex with a minor.

There briefly seemed to be a 'respectable' reason to concern one's self with this case. There was a reporter/confidentiality Judy Miller type angle to it. The authorities first obtained the tape, and arrested R. Kelly, because a reporter had gotten a hold of it and turned it over to them. That reporter was/is a music critic for the Chicago Sun-Times, Jim DeRogatis.

The defense wanted DeRogatis to testify, chiefly -- if I understand the situation -- because they wanted to suggest that he doctored the tape while it was in his possession.

DeRogatis refused to testify, at first asserting a privilege against violating the confidences of a source. The judge didn't accept that, and ordered DeRo (as his friends seem to call him) to take the stand nonetheless.

He took the stand. And proceeded to invoke the fifth amendment. Obviously a different privilege than the one with which he had begun, but a privilege more securely grounded in the Constitution.

Here are some particulars.

Let me say that I'm pleasantly surprised the R. Kelly trial has gotten the relative dearth of media attention (outside of the Chicago area) that we've seen. Yes, there's a war on. Dramatic financial news. And a presidential election campaign entering a new phase. Still, it is easy to imagine a parallel world not too different from this one in which the big sex-tape trial grabs all the headlines away from such trivia as that.

I'm glad it hasn't happened. Consider this my noisy tribute to the general silence! This will be (hand to heart) my last post on the R. Kelly trial.

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Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.