Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White’s defense lawyer rested Thursday without presenting a case against voter fraud charges that could oust White from office. Closing arguments in the weeklong trial are set for Friday, when the case is expected to go to jurors in Hamilton County Superior Court. White is charged with seven felony counts, including fraud, perjury and theft. If White is convicted of a single count, he faces removal from office and possible prison time.
The strategy employed by White’s lawyer, Carl Brizzi, is risky, said a professor at the Indiana University School of Law at Indianapolis. Fran Watson, who teaches a criminal defense clinic, said the strategy can work if jurors are unconvinced by the prosecutors’ case, but she isn’t sure it was wise in White’s case.
“It is a sound strategy in that it’s always the prosecutor’s burden to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt,” Watson said. But, she added, “With seven counts, it’s a little hard to believe it’s going to work,” as the more counts there are against a defendant, the greater the odds that jurors will find him guilty of at least one.