Rataj admits race could factor into Kilpatrick deliberations - KMSP-TV

Rataj admits race could factor into Kilpatrick deliberations

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Bobby Ferguson's attorney Mike Rataj talks to M.L. Elrick about the case and the impending waiting game. (Credit: Fox 2 News) Bobby Ferguson's attorney Mike Rataj talks to M.L. Elrick about the case and the impending waiting game. (Credit: Fox 2 News)
DETROIT (WJBK) -

Attorney Mike Rataj didn't like it when I asked whether race played a role in the prosecution of Kwame Kilpatrick, his father and his best friend.  A day later, he was more introspective.

"Do I think that they're evil people?  No, not necessarily, but they obviously have an agenda," he said.

Rataj wouldn't speculate on the government's motivation, but he acknowledged that race has been a part of the case and could factor into jury deliberations.

"You hope that race doesn't play a part in it, but you can't be naive to it, either," he said.

This case hasn't been easy on any of the attorneys.  Their clients didn't take the stand, but they still had their words used against them in the form of text messages.

"If I took all of your text messages for a six year period and I put up two or three or four or five, is that telling somebody what was really going on with your life?  And I would submit to you it's not," said Rataj.

You would think the hard part in this case is behind the lawyers and you would be wrong.

"The waiting game is the hardest part because it's out of our hands.  There's nothing else that we can do for our clients now.  It's totally in the hands of those twelve people and in some ways it's a helpless feeling," Rataj explained.

So the lawyers, the defendants and the rest of us wait looking for a sign of what the jury is going to decide.

"There is no art to it," Rataj said.  "People write books about this kind of stuff, but at the end of the day who's got a crystal ball?"

He says watching the clock can be meaningless, too, the length of deliberations not necessarily indicating what the jury will ultimately decide.

"I don't think there's any hard and fast rule.  Every case is different and you just have to take it as it comes," he said.

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