Jurors began deliberations in the hate crime trial of Nicholas Minucci. Yesterday, Queens prosecutors and Minucci's attorney gave their closing arguments: Prosecutor Michelle Goldstein tried one more time to emphasize that race motivated Minucci to attack Glenn Moore with a baseball bat last summer, while Minucci's defense attorney Albert Gaudelli called his own client "stupid" and a "dope" but not a racist, simply a dumb teen caught up by wanting to nab robbers that had been hitting his neighborhood. (Moore admitted he and his friends had been thinking about robbing a car earlier that night.) Gaudelli also blamed one of the detectives for "conning" Minucci by saying he would get leniency if he confessed.

Yesterday, the NY Times looked at how the defense got Harvard law professor Randall Kennedy to tesfity about the use of the "n" word; Kennedy did confirm the usage of the "n" word was "complex" and "has many meanings." He told reporters he testified "to advance the aims of justice...I do not feel I was championing somebody's cause. I was asked to speak as an expert witness about a particular issue. Somebody's liberties are at stake here."

The burden of proof for the prosecutors is much higher here than in other cases, because the Queens DA is pinning Minucci to a hate crime (there's no question about Minucci beating Moore senseless).