Tue, 29 Oct 2002
Winona's first trial day

So the trial has finally come around, and Winona's in court facing charges that could land her in jail for three years. As TheStar.com notes, the defence includes the following:

Defence attorney Mark Geragos said that the department store had her credit card on file and that Ryder told a clerk to keep it open. He said that when Ryder was detained she said, "You've got my credit card; you can do what you want with it."

This, in addition to the impending disqualification of the witness accounts that have changed during the lead-up to the trial. Then the complete lack of evidence on the alleged smoking gun surveillance video which was found to be anything but convincing. The dropping of the felony drug charges because carrying a couple of no-name brand knockoffs of tablets that you have a prescription for turns out to be not illegal. The case really is hanging together by quite dodgy threads...

Sadly, as the independent.co.uk points out:

Some of Ms Ryder's supporters have expressed amazement that the case was not settled before coming to trial, and have accused prosecutors of trying to make a name for themselves on the back of her celebrity. The truth, though, is that almost everyone stands to gain from turning California vs. Ryder into a media circus - the pundits, the television shows and, of course, the lawyers.

... everyone, that is, except Winona.

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