Since he told jurors—way back in late March— that the trial over Brooke Astor's will would take 8-10 weeks, Justice Kirke Bartley Jr. had to apologize to jurors last month for the trial's slow pace: So far, the case has gone on for 17 weeks—and the prosecution is only wrapping up today! Bartley even had to cancel his own vacation, according to the NY Times. Prosecutors contend Astor's son and a lawyer plotted to take more of her estate while she was ailing and NYU law professor Stephen Gillers explains, "This is not a smoking-gun case, this is not an eyewitness case. This is a circumstantial case. The challenge is enormous to show a woman’s state of mind five and a half years ago when she’s no longer here." But defense lawyer Benjamin Brafman points out, "It would appear to me that the case is being overtried by the district attorney’s office. The question of competence does not necessarily, in my view, require the testimony of every human being who came into contact with Brooke Astor in the latter years of her life." You know, if the trial wrapped up faster, maybe the jury forewoman wouldn't have been attacked on the subway!
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