Without jurors, there could be no verdict
on Ghislaine Maxwell. Not today December
23, nor for the three days to follow. By
contrast in Minnesota the jury on former
police officer Kim Potter, for killing
Daunte Wright, still met.
Kurt went to the
courthouse, for the free PACER -- soon, he
hoped, to be free for everyone, just as a
call-in line was or would have been -- and
to monitor the Potter jury since that of
Maxwell was scattered.
on Foley Square there were two TV trucks.
Kurt wondered, and streamed: were they
there in case something unexpected
happened in the Maxwell case? Or had he
become so embedded in MaximumMaxwell he
thought everything revolved around it?
going into the courthouse for the day,
Kurt walked east past the office of
Michael Randall Long, his go-to criminal
defender. The light in his office over the
Ali Baba fruit stand was on, maybe the
Magistrates Court was open, Kurt thought,
in order to give those arrested today one
last chance to not like Ghislaine spend
Christmas in jail.
He weaved through the
traffic of Chatham Square, past the side
street where a Chinese homeless man had
been bludgeoned to death last Christmas,
and to the library.
the first height of the pandemic, Kurt had
used to bike to the courthouse since there
were so few subways and he remembered the
old folks standing with big laptops in
front of the public library on East
Broadway, using the wi-fi they had
thoughtfully (or -lessly) left on. Now it
was open, even on December 23, albeit with
plexiglass dividers and what they called
no-touch check out.
had ordered from other branches, what
else, Jeffrey Epstein books. There might
be something he was missed. He picked out
three from the reserve shelf with the last
four digits of his library card listed on
you want the other one?" the library
did. There was one more, perhaps the most
or only useful one. He checked all four
out, bought a one dollar set of headphones
they sold to muffle the loud Chinese films
and non Chinese porn played by the old
folks down in the basement using the wi-fi
as he'd used to when he first got to the
court, and they took his laptop from him.
the way back west to the courthouse he cut
in on Mulberry Street and set for a moment
in a pew of Transfiguration Church. It had
a plaque out front for a Portuguese
swashbuckler priest but was now, at least
for this service, filled with Chinese
Kurt lit a candle --
"for the survivors," he whispered for no
one at that time -- then continued down
the steep hill of Mosco Street to Tasty
Dumpling. He'd take in with him a three
dollar hot and sour soup. It could be a
you seen your friend Mister Long?" the
women behind the counter asked Kurt.
"Someone came in looking for him." Kurt
shook his head. That would be another
story, perhaps the next one. First came #MaximumMaxwell.
Court Security Office, when Kurt offered
to sign in, said to not bother, many
people had come in. Even on holidays,
judges like Richard J. Sullivan came in to
work on their dockets, add spice to their
law clerk drafted orders.
The law was a 24-hour
business, especially the criminal law.
Kurt longed to do more work with Michael
Randall Long, at LongLaw as he called it.
Those cases got no coverage but maybe he
could change there.
Kim Potter trial and now jury
deliberation, by contrast, was nationwide
news, almost as big as Chauvin for killing
George Floyd. The case seemed difference,
with Potter mistaking her service revolver
for her taser and killing Daunte Wright.
It was not like
kneeling on George Floyd's neck for a full
But when the jury
came back, and Kurt started his live
thread because there was a live stream,
the found Potter guilty on both counts,
including manslaughter in the first
and in the street outside that courthouse
in Minnesota, some people whooped in
relief, that justice had been done. Others
said it was unfair and the Potter should
appeal, starting with the judge's decision
even before the government asked and the
defense spoke to remand Potter to jail.
There was justice, then
there was the appearance of justice. In US
v. Maxwell, it seemed to Kurt, there might
very well be neither. There was at least
three days to go. #MaximumMaxwell.